Troops line up to prepare for the 95th International Four Days Marches Nijmegen
Canadian Forces held recently a sendoff parade at the Canadian War Museum to mark the participation of 205 of its members in the 95th International Four Days Marches Nijmegen in Netherlands from July 19 to 22.
“The Canadian Forces’ participation in the Nijmegen Marches reminds us of Canada’s distinguished past and current contributions to peace and security in Europe,” says Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay. “Through my own participation last year, I was honoured to experience firsthand the special relationship that our country has fostered with the people of the Netherlands ever since the Canadian military took part in their liberation during the Second World War.”
Joint Task Force Nijmegen 2011 Assistant Chief of Military Personnel and Contingent Commander Brigadier-General John C. Madower leads 268 participants composed of marchers, medical and logistics staff as well as the Air Command Band.
Also participating are: Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre Laurie Hawn; Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Blaine Calkins; Loyal Edmonton Regiment Colonel Dennis Erker; U.S. Defence Attache to Canada Colonel J. Hausmann; and retired Royal Canadian Legion Sergeant Joe Brink. Contingent sponsor Chief Military Personnel Rear-Admiral Andy Smith will visit the group from July 20 to 22, and will participate in the march on July 21.
“Not only do the Nijmegen Marches link us back to an important part of history but they also help build morale, friendship, and camaraderie amongst the Canadian Forces members, and other nations participating,” says Smith. “I look forward to marching with our personnel and witnessing their efforts and teamwork during this strenuous experience.”
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 19 and 22, the contingent will cover 160 km through the Dutch countryside and crowded streets of towns in the Nijmegen area – on the same terrain where many Canadians fell during the Second World War.
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