ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(Marketwire - July 1, 2012) - Today, on behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Norm Doyle, Senator for Newfoundland and Labrador, attended a commemorative ceremony marking the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme at Beaumont-Hamel in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
"The sacrifices made by Newfoundland's and Canada's military heroes during the First World War continue to influence our way of life" said Minister Blaney. "These courageous heroes of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment are the reason we remember. We owe them our thanks for the Canada we enjoy today."
Senator Doyle participated in the Memorial Day ceremony organized by the Provincial Command of the Royal Canadian Legion to honour the great sacrifices and tremendous achievements of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment at Beaumont at the Newfoundland National War Memorial in St. John's.
"Commemorative events like these give Canadians the opportunity to thank Veterans for their sacrifices and encourage us to keep their stories and experiences alive" said Senator Doyle. "I am proud that we are able to recognize the sacrifices of these brave Newfoundlanders. It is our duty to ensure their contributions will never be forgotten."
The battle of the Somme began on July 1, 1916. That morning, members of the 1st Newfoundland Regiment attacked the German trenches at Beaumont-Hamel, France, and suffered enormous casualties. Of the 801 Newfoundlanders who went into battle that morning, only 68 were able to answer the roll call the next day.
For more information on the Battle of the Somme and the First World War, please visit veterans.gc.ca.