OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 20, 2012) - A Canadian Forces (CF) contingent of soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen from units across Canada proudly crossed the finish line today, after having overcome the major physical challenge presented by the 96th annual International Four Days Marches Nijmegen.
Led by Brigadier-General (Brig.-Gen.) Kevin Cotten, Project Leader for the Military Personnel Management Capability Transformation, the Canadian contingent marched 40 km a day for four days in a row, while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military rucksack weighing at least 10 kilograms.
"Having marched 160 km over four days, our Canadian contingent can look back and be proud of themselves for having successfully completed one of the most prestigious long-distance walking events in the world," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "By traveling over the same terrain where so many brave Canadians fought years ago, I am confident that our marchers have had an experience that they will not soon forget."
After completing this grueling march, the contingent marched the streets of Nijmegen for the Victory Parade - also called the 'Via Gladiola' for the flowers thrown at the marchers along the way by thousands of spectators. Members of the CF contingent who completed the Nijmegen Marches were then awarded the Four Day Marches Cross by Brig.-Gen. Cotten.
"It was an incredible experience to march alongside our troops in a land where Canadians fought and died in the defence of our freedom, values and way of life," said Brig.-Gen. Cotten. "To witness the special relationship Canada has with the Netherlands and the lifetime of memories and special bonds formed between our forces and those of other participating nations was moving. This year's contingent demonstrated once again that Canada has a first-class, modern military that is well trained, and ready to take on any challenge. Bravo Zulu to all!"
The 2012 Nijmegen Marches marked the first time the CF had a team dedicated to the ill and injured. Throughout the CF contingent's training period, teams raised CAN $19 849.30 which will be donated to both the Military Families and Soldier On funds.
Notes to editor / news director: Media agencies can request interviews with CF personnel who participated in Nijmegen by contacting the Media Liaison Office at 1-866-377-0811 or 613-996-2353.
Still imagery is available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at: http://www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca/common/combatcamera/index-eng.asp.
For more information about the CF's participation in the Nijmegen Marches, please consult the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4308.
For the most recent news stories, videos and photos of CF training and participation in the Nijmegen Marches, media can visit the official Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/JointTaskForceNijmegen.