OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 11, 2012) - A send off parade was held today at the Canadian War Museum to mark the upcoming participation of a contingent of 270 Canadian Forces (CF) members in the 96th annual International Four Days Marches Nijmegen, to be held from July 17 to 20. Canadian military contingents have participated in this prestigious long-distance marching event, held in the Netherlands, since 1952.
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Canadian Forces' participation in the Nijmegen Marches - a demonstration of the strong bond that continues to exist between Canada and the Netherlands," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "Canada's long standing participation also demonstrates our dedication to remembering the brave men and women who died during the World Wars. These Canadian Forces members will be walking in the same paths as those who made the ultimate sacrifice, making this experience one they'll never forget."
Led by Brigadier-General Kevin Cotten, the group of marchers is comprised of 187 CF members. They are supported by CF medical and logistics staff and accompanied by the Air Command Band, for a total strength of 270 participants. This year's contingent also includes marchers from the Soldier On program which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of ill and injured military personnel and their families by inspiring them to adopt an active lifestyle.
"I am honoured to have the opportunity to march alongside this team of exceptionally strong and resilient Soldier On members," said Brigadier-General Cotten. "We hope this will become an integral part of their road to recovery and although challenging, I have no doubt the Nijmegen Marches will be an experience of a lifetime."
The Nijmegen Marches consists of four days of marching while wearing standard combat clothing and carrying a military rucksack weighing at least 10 kg. Between July 17 and July 20, the CF contingent will cover 160 km through the Dutch countryside and crowded streets of towns in the Nijmegen area - often walking the same terrain where many Canadians fell during the Second World War.
Notes to editor / news director: Media agencies can request interviews with CF personnel in Nijmegen by contacting the Media Liaison Office at 1-866-377-0811 or 613-996-2353.
Still imagery will be available on the Canadian Forces Image Gallery at: www.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca
Imagery and stories of the Nijmegen Marches will be posted on the following website: http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/nij-nim/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.