More than 200 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members were awarded a special 100th-anniversary edition of the Four Day Marches Cross after participating in the Four Days Marches Nijmegen in the Netherlands.
“The Canadian contingent can look back and be proud of having overcome the major challenge presented by the Nijmegen Marches. They can be proud as well for having paid such a fitting tribute to the Canadian servicemen and women who fought and died in
Europe during the First World War and the Second World War, and for their own military service as members of the Canadian Armed Forces who continue to answer their nation’s call in the name of peace and security,” said Lieutenant General Guy Thibault, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
Led by Col. Kristiana Stevens for the second year in a row, the CAF contingent was comprised of 15 teams of 11 marchers each from across Canada and Formation Europe, along with VIPs and support staff. The contingent included members from all ranks, trades and represented the diversity of the CAF.
The contingent marched 40 km a day for four days, culminating in a 5 km victory parade. The parade was attended by thousands of spectators who cheered on the CAF in commemoration of the CAF soldiers who liberated the Netherlands from Nazi occupation during the Second World War.
“I could not be any more appreciative of the strength of character that our Canadian Armed Forces members demonstrated once again this year at the Nijmegen Marches. They completed this wonderful challenge together, and that is only a small reflection of their capacity for harmony and teamwork,” said Col. Stevens, Commander Joint Task Force Nijmegen.
The Nijmegen Marches were initiated in the early 20th century as a way for the Dutch infantry to increase the physical fitness of their forces. Today, the Marches are the largest international walking event, drawing participation from both military and civilians from more than 50 countries. The CAF has participated in the Marches every year since 1952.
Featured photo: Combat Camera. Photographer: WO Jerry Kean, 5 Cdn Div Public Affairs