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Troop Train Ice Sculpture Unveiled to Mark Centennial of the Start of the First World War

Parliamentary Secretary Gill and General Lawson Light Up the Night at Winterlude 2014

OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2014 /CNW/ - A masterfully crafted ice sculpture of a Great War Canadian "troop train" was officially unveiled earlier this evening during an annual Winterlude ice sculpture illumination ceremony in Ottawa. Parm Gill, MP for Brampton-Springdale and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, were on hand to officially light up the ice sculpture and to pay tribute to the Canadian men and women who served and sacrificed during the First World War.

The annual ice sculpture illumination ceremony is the result of a long standing partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada and Winterlude event organizers, formerly organized by the National Capital Commission and now Canadian Heritage. This year's ice sculpture, commemorating the centennial of the start of the First World War, depicts soldiers saying goodbye to their loved ones as they board a train to depart for war. The troop trains brought many of these young volunteers to Valcartier, Quebec, where the men received their first taste of military training before setting sail for England.

The Troop Train ice sculpture is located in the Crystal Garden at Confederation Park, in downtown Ottawa. For more information on Winterlude 2014, please visit the Canadian Heritage website. To find out more about Veterans Affairs Canada and how you can get involved in remembrance activities, visit the Veterans Affairs Canada website today.

Quick Facts

  • More than 66,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland made the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War to uphold the principle of liberty.
  • Canada's fallen heroes from the Great War are forever immortalized in the First World War Book of Remembrance.
  • The Great War represents Canada's courage, strength and coming of age as a nation.

Quotes

"The 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War represents a unique opportunity for Canadians to reflect on our country's long and proud military history and to celebrate our achievements. I encourage all Canadians to honour and remember, throughout this centennial year, the service and sacrifices of our Veterans, both past and present."
Parm Gill, MP for Brampton-Springdale and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs

"The First World War battlefields of Europe are where we came of age as a country, and where our ideals of peace and freedom were woven into the cultural fabric of our nation. I invite all visitors to Winterlude to view the Troop Train sculpture, and to pause and reflect on the contributions of our Veterans in shaping the Canada of today."
The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

"As the Chief of the Defence Staff, it gives me great pride to pay tribute to the men and women who served to defend and protect Canada's interests during the First World War. The Canadian Armed Forces of today draw inspiration and strength from their stoic heroism, and their selfless courage."
General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff

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SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada

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