OTTAWA, Nov. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined Veterans of Afghanistan, officer cadets from the Royal Military College Saint-Jean and the Royal Military College of Canada, and representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion to raise awareness among youth in an activity organized by Operation Veteran at the Fairmont Château Laurier earlier today.
"Veterans have made an enormous contribution in shaping the Canada we know today. It is because of their courage and willingness to put their country ahead of themselves that we live in a nation envied around the world," stated Minister Fantino. "We are both grateful and humbled by the sacrifice of Canadian men and women who have served our country."
The event allowed some 250 young people from Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland to hear testimonials from Veterans, officer cadets from military colleges and members of the Royal Canadian Legion. Minister Fantino also addressed youth attending the event and paid tribute to Veterans and our men and women in uniform. Through this opportunity, the youth participants learned more on the role, past and present, of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans in defending the rights and freedoms Canadians enjoy today.
Operation Veteran, in association with the Canadian War Museum, supports Veterans through a complimentary meal program at the museum, as well as engaging young Canadians in remembrance. Through educational initiatives, Operation Veteran offers youth opportunities to learn more about Canada's military history and the service and sacrifice of our Veterans.
"Operation Veteran was founded to ensure that students honour and respect Canada's Veterans. The funds raised by students in schools across Canada have ensured that Veterans receive complimentary meals when visiting the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa," said Dr. Paul Kavanagh, founder of Operation Veteran. "I am very proud of the work we are accomplishing together."
This Veterans' Week, your challenge is to show you remember. Wearing a poppy, attending a local Remembrance Day ceremony and changing your Facebook profile picture to a poppy are all ways to remember and honour Veterans. Visit veterans.gc.ca/iremember to get interactive and share your thoughts or to find commemorative events in your community.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to defend the Republic of Korea and uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada