Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement to mark the 66th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day):
“Today we honour our brave Canadian soldiers who fought to achieve the Allied victory in Europe during the Second World War against a fascist regime rooted in racism and hatred that scarred the world with the Holocaust.
“Sixty-six years ago today, Allied nations accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
“Leading up to that historic day, hundreds of thousands of Canadians left behind their families, friends and hometowns for the battlefields of Europe to defend the fundamental values that all Canadians cherish dearly - freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Hundreds of thousands of other Canadians laboured tirelessly on the home front to produce the war material needed by our soldiers in uniform as well as by our allies.
“These Canadian heroes put the welfare of our great country, and all future generations, ahead of their own. They continue to represent the best of what it means to be Canadian — courage, self-sacrifice, standing up for what is right, and protecting those who cannot protect themselves. More than forty thousand of these selfless Canadians never returned home. For this, we owe our veterans and their families our deepest respect and gratitude. Their actions make us all proud to be Canadian.
“As we remember the triumph of May 8, 1945, we also pay tribute to our brave men and women in uniform as they continue this important tradition today — in Afghanistan , Haiti , Sudan and other regions of the world where Canadians are truly making a difference.
“Lest we forget.”
STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY