For Immediate Release
November 28, 2019 – Sicily, Italy
Today, Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan – Woodbridge begins in Sicily, Italy at the Agira Canadian War Cemetery travelling a route similar to that of Canada’s campaign 75 years ago.
Alongside Minister MacAulay, this delegation is commemorating another very important part of the Second World War: the Italian Campaign. It was one of the longest campaigns fought by Canadian troops during that conflict.
The courage and skill of Canadians were crucial in those turning points of the war, and in history. While they played a major role in the Allies’ victory, Canadians also paid a very high price. Our soldiers suffered more than 25,000 casualties, including nearly 6,000 who paid the ultimate price.
There will be a Ceremony of Remembrance at the Canadian Monument in Pontecorvo and the Cassino War Cemetery, which is the second largest WWII cemetery in Italy, with more than 4,200 Commonwealth graves, 855 Canadian soldiers lay here.
The route will also stop in Ortona, including a Ceremony of Remembrance at Price of Peace Monument, with bricks from war damaged buildings are the foundation of the monument. Canadian soldiers had to cross the Moto river, and 1,375 graves are Canadian at Moro River Canadian War Cemetery.
From Sicily to the Gulf of Taranto, from Campobasso to Ortona, from the Liri Valley to Rimini and the Po Valley, more than 93,000 Canadians served in Italy. Lest We Forget.
“It is a great honour to see these Second World War Italian Campaign Veterans travel the liberation route; visiting some of the very locations they battled their way through 75 years ago. It is important that we remember their efforts and sacrifices and pay respect to their brave comrades. We will be forever grateful for their service.”
– The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence
“Travelling on this route is significant on a personal level, not only because I’m very familiar with this land and country, but because I have such respect for all the men and women that have served and currently do so. I am honoured to be part of this delegation and take great pride in being Canadian, and Italian-Canadian.”
– Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan – Woodbridge
- Success in the Italian Campaign was one of many key milestones in the lead up to the end of the Second World War.
- More than 93,000 Canadians served with the Allied forces in the Italian Campaign. As they fought in Sicily and up the Italian mainland, nearly 6,000 of them died.
- Canadians played an important role helping the Allies to victory in the Italian Campaign, seeing heavy action in places like Sicily, Ortona, the Liri Valley and Rimini.
- Those who fought in Italy were among the more than one million Canadians who served in uniform during the Second World War.
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Office of Francesco Sorbara
MP Vaughan – Woodbridge