Released on September 3, 2015
Canada’s Merchant Navy Veterans Honoured
The Government of Saskatchewan today honours the heroic efforts of Canada’s wartime mariners by proclaiming Merchant Navy Veterans Day.
From 1939 to 1945, primarily on the vast battlefield of the Atlantic Ocean, these veterans contributed profoundly and with great sacrifice, to help win the Second World War.
“The Battle for the Atlantic is considered the longest battle ever fought by Canadians,” Minister responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Mark Docherty said. “We commend them for their contributions to help end the war and for protecting the freedom we enjoy today.”
When it was over, more than 1,700 members of the Merchant Navy had been killed or lost at sea. Those deaths, along with those of Navy personnel who fought to guard the convoys, was the heavy price paid to break through the German blockade to feed, fuel and arm the Allies and Russia and help win the war.
“Premier Brad Wall and the people of Saskatchewan are to be commended for their extraordinary leadership in having September 3 proclaimed as Merchant Navy Veterans Day,” Merchant Navy Commemorative Theme Project (MNCTP) President and Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Ouellette said. “All other provinces and territories should follow their exemplary role, with an aim to empowering Canadians democratically and uniting our great nation coast-to-coast.”
On September 3, 2003, the Government of Canada established a day to honour those who took part in this great battle. Since then, each fall, Canadians mark Merchant Navy Veterans Day in recognition of the contributions and sacrifices made by Canada's Merchant Navy.
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