The peaceful society we in Canada enjoy today is only a dream to the many people in the world who live in countries torn apart by violence. This peace is possible only because it has been protected by the efforts and sacrifices of generations of Canadians over the years who have put their lives on the line.
Following the February 18, 2010, passing of John "Jack" Babcock, Canada's last known First World War Veteran, the Government of Canada unveiled plans to mark one of the most important chapters in Canadian history.
“End of an Era” is a national commemorative ceremony honouring all of Canada's First World War service men and women. Arras, Amiens, Passchendaele, the Somme, Vimy and Ypres, where thousands of Canadians fought and many gave their lives more than 90 years ago, was an era that transformed our identity as a country.
Minister of Veterans Affairs, The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, has announced that on April 9, Vimy Ridge Day, the Government of Canada will pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of WWI Canadians.
The main ceremony will take place in Ottawa at the National War Memorial - a symbol of the sacrifices of all Canadians who have served Canada in times of war in the cause of peace and freedom.
Between 1914 and 1918, a young Canada faced the trials and devastation of war alongside our allied countries. Thousands of Canadians and Newfoundlanders answered the call to contribute to the war effort required for the First World War.
Minister Blackburn said, "Those who served our country during the First World War have often been called our Greatest Generation. They earned that title. They deserve it."
Remembering all that these men and women have done during times of war, military conflict and peace helps us understand the country we live in today and how we can build a better future together.