The Government of Canada is committed to recognizing the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian veterans. To this end, on March 14, 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault of France witnessed the signing of a declaration to cooperate on commemorating Canadian and French involvement in select 20th century conflicts.
From 2014 to 2020, Canada and France will mark key historic events of two military milestones that had a major impact on both countries: the 100th anniversary of the 1914-1918 First World War and the 75th anniversary of the 1939-1945 Second World War.
In anticipation of this heightened period of remembrance, Canada and France have renewed their commitment to work collaboratively in the area of commemoration. The declaration signed today – which replaces the October 2006 Memorandum of Understanding on preserving the memories of 20th century conflicts – provides a road map of shared First and Second World War milestone anniversaries to guide joint efforts.
Commemorative activities marking these key milestone anniversaries will be carried out under the themes of heritage, engagement and youth. Canada and France will help preserve, maintain and enrich the heritage representing the shared memory of 20th century conflicts; they will continue to develop innovative ways to engage citizens; and, they will strive to create opportunities for Canadian and French youth to experience their shared military history.
Veterans Affairs Canada and the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs of the French Republic will be responsible for leading the commemorative initiatives under this declaration.