TORONTO, June 18, 2012 /CNW/ - Commemoration activities for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 were officially launched today at an event at the Fort York National Historic Site in Toronto. The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, marked the anniversary of the start of the conflict in 1812 as an unprecedented opportunity for all Canadians to take pride in what was a defining moment in Canada's history..
Local students attended the event with descendants of heroes of the War of 1812 who shared stories of their ancestors' contributions to the fight for Canada, including Nicolas de Salaberry (Charles-Michel de Salaberry), Shari Graydon (Laura Secord), and Gilbert Wahiakeron (John Norton). The Queen's York Rangers Regiment officially carried the history of the 1812 units it perpetuates, as a link to the importance of the war in creating Canada's military.
"The descendants of those who fought for Canada during the War of 1812 are living testaments of the enduring history that unites us as a country," said Minister Moore. "Over the next three years, I encourage everyone to learn about the Fight for Canada and this defining chapter in our history."
"Because Laura Secord risked great personal peril to communicate what she knew, she's a particularly relevant source of inspiration for me in the work that I do in training women to share their insights—just as my famous ancestor did," said Shari Graydon.
The Harper Government is investing in activities across the country that will boost tourism and encourage Canadians to learn more about the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada's history. This includes support for:
- a pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada's history;
- support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events;
- a permanent 1812 memorial located in the National Capital Region;
- interactive tours, six exhibits, and improvements to three national historic sites across the country;
- investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; and
- celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812.
Fort York National Historic Site played a pivotal role in the War of 1812. Built in 1793, its defensive walls enclose Canada's largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Visit 1812.gc.ca to learn more about the War of 1812 and the Harper Government's commemoration.