By Alec Connor, The Guard –
On July 10, 2018 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Contingent were seen off in a stirring departure parade in preparation for their upcoming participation in the Nijmegen Marches, the world’s largest walking event. Founded in 1909 by the Dutch King as a way to promote physical fitness, teamwork, and stamina in the members of the Dutch military, the marches have grown significantly. Now featuring more than 51,000 military and civilian participants from more than 50 countries, the Marches involve four days of marching through the countryside and crowded streets of towns and villages in the Nijmegen area of the southern Netherlands, often carrying heavy gear. This is the 102nd edition of the Marches, which will see 14 teams consisting of about 11 CAF members each, and supported by other participants, march with military colleagues and civilians alike.
In addition to marching, the CAF Contingent will also have the opportunity to honour Canada’s military history in the region by participating in ceremonies commemorating fallen Canadians from the First and Second World Wars at the Mons Memorial, the Vimy Memorial and Canadian war cemeteries.
The departure parade, located at the Canadian War Museum, featured remarks from His Excellency Mr. Henk van der Zwan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Canada, and Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre, Commander, Military Personnel Command, as well as the CAF Contingent CO and RSM. Approximately 50 members of the CAF Contingent paraded, showcasing their smart drill and operational readiness.
Ottawa was well represented in this year’s contingent with a whole National Capital Region team, featuring CFSU(O)’s own Major Luc Boulanger as Team Captain.
Photos: CANADIAN FORCES COMBAT CAMERA/ Master Corporal Gabrielle DesRochers
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