TORONTO -- February 19, 2010 – The Historica-Dominion Institute mourns the loss of John Foster “Jack” Babcock, the last veteran of the Great War, and urges the government of Canada to declare a National Day of Commemoration.On November 21, 2006, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to hold a state funeral for the last veteran of the First World War. The motion was a response to an online petition to honour the last Great War veteran in Canada with full military honours. Some 90,000 Canadians signed the petition in three weeks.On February 18, 2010, the Babcock family declined the government’s offer of a state funeral. The Institute respects the family’s wishes and offers its condolences.
“With the passing of Mr. Babcock, we are pleased that the federal government has honoured the motion,” says Andrew Cohen, President of The Historica-Dominion Institute. “It is now time to pay tribute to the more than 600,000 Canadians who served -- and the 68,000 who died -- during the Great War. We are calling for a National Day of Commemoration which will allow Canadians to mark the passing of a generation of brave men and women.”
The Institute has created a Facebook group in support of a National Day of Commemoration.
Mr. Babcock was Canada’s last living link to the Canadians who served in the First World War and the more than 60,000 who died between 1914 and 1918. His story is told in the Institute’s Memory Project Digital Archive.
The Historica-Dominion Institute is a national charitable organization that was launched on September 1, 2009 through the amalgamation of two existing organizations: The Historica Foundation of Canada and The Dominion Institute. Its mandate is to build informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada. Some of its signature programs include Encounters with Canada, Passages to Canada and The Canadian Encyclopedia. Visit www.historica-dominion.ca.
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