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Minister O'Connor addresses National History Forum Participants

OTTAWA, Dec. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of State, Chief Government Whip and MP for Carleton-Mississippi Mills, addressed National History Forum participants on the importance of remembering the service and sacrifice of Canadian Veterans, and in particular their achievements as Canada prepares to mark the upcoming 100th anniversary of the First World War.

In the lead-up to the centennial in 2014, this year's National History Forum focuses on how Canadians should remember the First World War. The event brings together more than 150 Canadian historians, educators, museum curators and other specialists in the field.

"We must never forget our Canadian men and women in uniform who fought, and the many who made the ultimate sacrifice, during the First World War to defend the peace, freedom and democracy we enjoy today," said Minister Blaney. "Canadians must become actively involved in remembrance activities and reconnect with our history, in order to ensure the legacy of Veterans and their sacrifices live on for future generations."

Canada's contribution to the First World War was significant for a population of 8 million at the time. More than 650,000 Canadians, representing 8% of the country's population, served in the First World War. Of this number, more than 66,000 gave their lives, and 170,000 were wounded.

"Canada's military achievements during the First World War raised our international stature, earning Canada a separate signature on the Treaty of Versailles that ended the war," said Minister O'Connor. "Many historians view the successes on the battlefield, especially the Battles of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele, as Canada's coming of age as a nation."

For more information on Canada's role during the First World War, visit veterans.gc.ca

SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

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