Operation Veteran launches its fourth year, inviting students from across the country to Remembrance Day ceremonies in OttawaNovember 8, 2012
Ottawa, Ontario, November 8, 2012—On November 11, Operation Veteran will launch its fourth year of operations. Over the past four years, support for the program has grown tremendously to now include schools from all ten provinces and three territories, a partnership with EF Educational Tours and plans for educational resources that will help relay the history of the First World War, both online and in the classroom.
Operation Veteran was founded by Dr. Paul Kavanagh, in association with the Canadian War Museum, after his moving encounter in April 2009 with a Second World War veteran who did not have enough money to pay for soup and a coffee at the Museum cafeteria. “There was a long line-up and people were becoming impatient,” Dr. Kavanagh explained. “He was in tears. I had to do something. So I paid for his meal.” Soon afterwards, Dr.
Kavanagh founded Operation Veteran to ensure that on November 11, no veteran would lack the funds for a meal at the Museum. In 2010, thanks to schools’ fundraising efforts and the generosity of private donors, the program was extended to every day the Museum is open. To date, more than 3,500 complimentary meals have been served to veterans visiting the Canadian War Museum.
“This program contributes significantly to the greater understanding of Canada’s military history,” said James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “We are delighted that this initiative is continuing to grow and engage high school students from all parts of Canada in remembrance, including the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.”
This year, Operation Veteran will host almost 200 students from across Canada for Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa and a tour of the Canadian War Museum. Junior Rangers from the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group in Northern Ontario will be joining in on the activities in Ottawa. All expenses of these visits are covered by the participating schools, which also raise funds to support Operation Veteran.
EF Educational Tours, a leader in Canadian history tours for students, along with the National Capital Commission, Canadian Accredited Independent Schools and the Royal Canadian Legion have lent their support to Operation Veteran to develop a three-day educational program for participants that includes workshops, lectures and museum tours.
Educating young people about Canadians’ debt to our veterans is an important element of Operation Veteran. With the financial support of the program, the Canadian War Museum will be able to develop educational resources on the First World War that can be accessed by teachers and their students across the country. These resources include sophisticated, curriculum-based, online modules with virtual access to the museum’s important collection of artifacts, images and archives as well as hands-on educational kits containing authentic materials of the type worn, used and created by Canadians who experienced firsthand the realities of the First World War.
In the coming year, Operation Veteran will continue to enlist more schools, and provide the funding for educational resources to help students better appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of a generation of Canadians at a formative time in our history. For more information about the program, visit www.warmuseum.ca/ov.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.
Dr Paul Kavanagh
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