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Statement from Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff on the 65th Anniversary of VE Day

OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement on the 65th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day:

“On May 8, 1945 – 65 years ago today – the world celebrated the end of the Second World War in Europe. Although fighting would continue against Japan for a few more months, VE Day will always be remembered as the moment when Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler’s murderous regime were defeated by Canada and its global allies.

Victory in Europe Day was a victory for Canada as well. The official surrender of the Nazi regime was marked by spontaneous celebrations across Canada, including a parade on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, crowds in the streets of Toronto and Montreal, and victory parades in small towns everywhere.

VE Day holds a special place in Canadian history because of Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands. On May 6, 1945, the German army formally surrendered its remaining 117,000 troops in the Netherlands to Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Foulkes of the First Canadian Corps, ending nearly eight months of bitter and difficult fighting.

A staggering 45,000 Canadians sacrificed their lives in the Second World War. Today we pay tribute to them and to all who served in the deadliest military conflict in history.

In our thoughts today are all of Canada’s war veterans, past and present, as well as the men and women who continue Canada’s noble tradition of bringing peace and stability to those parts of the world experiencing turmoil and upheaval, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I encourage all Canadians to remember that day, 65 years ago, when the war in Europe was won, and to commemorate the sacrifices still being made by our troops today. Lest we forget.”

Press Office    5/8/2010


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