Ottawa, ON – Today, The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:
“I was delighted to learn of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee decision to inscribe the Funerary and memory sites of the First World War (Western Front) on the World Heritage List. This World Heritage site includes 139 cemeteries and memorial sites of the First World War, including the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and the Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Memorial in France, as well as the St. Julien Memorial “The Brooding Soldier” in Belgium. Thank you to the French and Belgian delegation for advancing this important initiative.
“These Memorials provide a space to pay respects to the hundreds of thousands who fought for peace and freedom, and the thousands more who gave their lives in its pursuit during the First World War.
“Commemorating those who served and died for our country is a profound responsibility borne by every generation of Canadians. This designation by the World Heritage Committee will further safeguard our Memorials and the grounds on which they stand, allowing for the stories of brave Canadian soldiers to continue to be shared with the world.
“We look forward to working with our commemorative partners to ensure that all those who served and sacrificed in the First World War are remembered.
“Lest we forget.”