Gateway Gazette

Canadian Veterans Return to Italy to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign

Canadian Veterans Return to Italy to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign

Veterans Affairs Canada

Beginning in July 1943, Canadians fought for more than a year and a half across Sicily and up the Italian mainland—an effort that would become known as the Italian Campaign. This fall, 75 years later, we remember the more than 93,000 Canadians who played an important role during this bitter struggle.

To commemorate this important milestone, an official Canadian delegation will travel to Italy from 28 November to 6 December 2019. It will include approximately fifteen Veterans from the Second World War’s Italian Campaign, their caregivers, representatives from Veterans’ and Indigenous organizations, a Silver Cross Mother, Canadian youth and representatives of the Government of Canada. A contingent of the Canadian Armed Forces will also participate in ceremonies and events in Italy.

The delegation will take part in a series of events throughout Italy, travelling a route similar to that of Canada’s campaign 75 years ago. The Government of Canada will host four signature events. Part of the delegation will start the journey with a ceremony of remembrance taking place at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery in Sicily on November 28.

Veterans from the Italian Campaign and the rest of the delegation will then join in for ceremonies in Pontecorvo, Ortona and Ravenna on November 30, December 2 and December 4, respectively. The ceremonies will honour the sacrifices and achievements of those who gave so much to help liberate and bring freedom to the country, a key chapter in the liberation of Europe.

Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #CanadaRemembers and #Italy75, or visit veterans.gc.ca.

Canadian Veterans Return to Italy to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of the Italian Campaign
The First Special Service Force – the Devils’ Brigade” – landed in Italy during the Second World War – Nov 19 1943

Quotes

“It is a great honour to see these Second World War Italian Campaign Veterans travel the liberation route; visiting some of the very locations they battled their way through 75 years ago. It is important that we remember their efforts and sacrifices and pay respect to their brave comrades. We will be forever grateful for their service.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Success in the Italian Campaign was one of many key milestones in the lead up to the end of the Second World War.
  • More than 93,000 Canadians served with the Allied forces in the Italian Campaign. As they fought in Sicily and up the Italian mainland, nearly 6,000 of them died.
  • Canadians played an important role helping the Allies to victory in the Italian Campaign, seeing heavy action in places like Sicily, Ortona, the Liri Valley and Rimini.
  • Those who fought in Italy were among the more than one million Canadians who served in uniform during the Second World War.

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