OTTAWA, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - His Excellency Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, accompanied by the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, today paid tribute to Canadian Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces personnel during a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial.
"Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, our countries have worked together on military operations with the goal of defending peace, freedom and democracy around the world," said Minister Blaney. "We are grateful to the people of Estonia for recognizing the commitment and sacrifices of Canada's Veterans and our men and women in uniform today."
An estimated 24,000 individuals of Estonian descent call Canada home, making it the second largest Estonian community outside of Estonia. Canada was among the first countries to recognize Estonia's independence in 1991 and was first to ratify its accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 2004. In addition, both Estonia and Canada participate in the NATO-led International Security Force in Afghanistan.
During the ceremony, President Ilves signed the Livre D'Or, a guest book for foreign dignitaries, which records their participation in commemorative ceremonies at the National War Memorial.
More information on Canada's military history can be found on the Veterans Affairs Canada website at veterans.gc.ca.
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law. For more information on Canada's role in the Korean War, visit veterans.gc.ca, visit our Facebook "Canada Remembers" page to leave a message of remembrance, or follow us on Twitter @VeteransENG_CA.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada
Image with caption: "The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, and Mrs. Ilves, attend the signing of the Livre D'Or by His Excellency Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of the Republic of Estonia, following a wreath-laying ceremony at the National War Memorial. (CNW Group/Veterans Affairs Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130502_C2980_PHOTO_EN_26298.jpg