May 8, 2023, marks the 78th anniversary of the official end of World War II in Europe, on the day following Germany’s declaration of unconditional surrender in 1945. The MVLP joins all Canadians in commemorating the immense contributions of our WWII Métis Veterans, among our Canadian Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice. Métis servicemen and women fought side by side with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike, united by their motivation to secure liberty, freedom and peace.
Canadian soldiers recount memories of eerie silence on the battlefields over the week of Germany’s surrender, after 5 years of gruesome fighting that led to the moment when the cannons and guns stopped firing. A burst of celebration erupted from the front lines in Germany and the Netherlands, when the exhausted soldiers, sailors and airmen were made aware of their victory. The news of their triumphant success sent a wave of relief and celebration, as it quickly travelled from the allied European Nations across the North Atlantic to Canadian shores.
After over 42,000 Canadians in uniform, including many Métis, had lost their lives, with thousands more either injured or imprisoned, Canada was eager for the bloodshed to end. Celebrations erupted in Canadian towns and cities following the announcement of victory over civilian radio, with family members taking to the streets, cheering the strength and sacrifice of their loved ones resulting in victory overseas.
Though the war continued in the Pacific for four more months, Canadians began recuperating by celebrating the valiant strength of Canadian soldiers, and their efforts resulting in the defeat of the fascist Nazi regime. We celebrate May 8th as a defining moment in Canada’s national history, where our troops demonstrated our nation’s strength in the face of adversity on the global scale. Today, we honour our Canadian soldiers and their surviving family members for their heroic efforts, along with their sacrifices, loss and trauma that led to the Victory in Europe.
Our Veterans are our Heroes today, tomorrow and forever.
Lest we forget.