Canada plans to mark 100th anniversary of First World War

File photo

File photo

Jessica Hume, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 3:07 PM ET

Canada will be part of an international effort planning the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

The anniversary - which begins in 2014 - will be marked with events in several of the countries most affected by the war.

Last week, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino joined counterparts from 22 other countries for an international ministerial seminar about the commemorations.

"The 100th anniversary of the First World War represents a unique opportunity for Canadians to reflect on our country's long and proud military history," Fantino said in a statement.

Commemorations will begin next year with a Bastille Day military parade in France, in which Canada will participate. In 2015, a ceremony in Turkey will mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, in which the Newfoundland Regiment - Newfoundlanders then, not yet Canadians - played a major role holding the Turkish Army at bay, and was almost wiped out.

One of the bloodiest battles in all of history — the Battle of the Somme — will be commemorated in 2016, along with the Battles of Beaumont-Hamel and Vimy Ridge.

Last March, Canada signed a declaration with France, agreeing to cooperate on commemorating Canadian and French participation in certain 20th-century conflicts.

From 2014 to 2020, both countries will mark key historic military milestones that affected Canada and France, from the First and Second World Wars.

"We are dedicated to ensuring that the sacrifices and contributions of veterans are never forgotten," Fantino said in a statement.

 


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