“Victory in Europe (V-E) Day-8 May 1945-marked the official end of the Second World War in Europe. Crowds celebrated in Canada, Europe and Allied nations around the world.
“More than one million Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force during the conflict. More than 45,000 gave their lives, and another 55,000 were wounded. Thousands more would return home with long-lasting mental injuries. Another 12,000 went to sea with the Merchant Navy. Millions more supported the war effort on the home front.
“We remember Major-General George Kitching, one of the youngest generals in the Allied armies during the Second World War. He helped arrange the laying down of arms of the Germans in the Netherlands. MGen Kitching was also present at the surrender signing ceremony in the Dutch town of Wageningen in May 1945.
“We recognize Annie (Goode) McNamara, who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force – Women’s Division as a performer in a travelling military variety show. McNamara encountered the horrors of war as well: the performers often visited the wounded including children in hospitals in England, and travelled to the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen.
“We honour Chief Petty Officer 1st Class George Edward (Ted) Jamieson of the Six Nations Upper Cayuga Band who was a sea cadet in his early teens and, a few years later, a bugler in the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. During the Second World War, he served as an able seaman at the East Coast naval bases HMCS Stadacona and HMCS Cornwallis. He also served at sea aboard the minesweeper HMCS Drummondville during the Battle of the Atlantic.
“Today, we express the gratitude of a nation to all Canadians who have served in defence of peace and freedom. As we reflect on this milestone anniversary during this unprecedented time, let’s pause to honour their contributions, achievements and sacrifice.