They’ve got quite the journey ahead of them.
Next week, 190 marchers from the Canadian Forces
will join 45,000 people to walk 160 kilometres over four days in the
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While just the thought of walking that far is enough
to give some people sore feet, Master Corporal Lorinda Sherman is
“The experience is going to be incredible,” said the first-time participant, who trained after work and on weekends.
First-timer Corporal John Cota is most excited about
the spectators, an estimated one million of which are expected to
attend the 93rd annual event, which runs from July 21-24.
“When you’re out there, you get the feeling you’re a
part of something big and important,” said Gen. Charles Belzile,
Honourary Grand President of the Royal Canadian Legion, who did the
Canadian War Museum hosted the official send-off parade for Canadian Forces Nijmegen marchers Wednesday.
The march – called the King of Walks, said Erik Boer
of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – includes a stop at
the Canadian war cemetery in Groesbeek, which was the final resting
place of more than 2,300 Canadian soldiers during the Second World War.
The event is especially significant for Canadians, as
it commemorates the contribution of Canadian soldiers to the liberation
of the Netherlands during the Second World War, resulting in a meaningful friendship
between the two countries.
The two countries share a lot of the same values, including freedom, said Boer.
The march is a test of physical strength and will, said Canadian War Museum director general Mark O’Neill.
The event is “poignant and moving” and “will have a
dramatic impact on those who participate,” said Commander of the
Canadian Operational Support Command Major-Gen. Mark McQuillan.