Inaugural Victory March Replaces the Annual Nijmegen March

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News Article / May 7, 2021

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By Gloria Kelly

Since 1952 members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have taken part in the four day Nijmegen March in Holland. Cancelled in 2020 and again this year due to the global pandemic, the CAF has launched the inaugural Victory March to continue the long standing tradition of participation in the Marches and is encouraging all Canadians to take part as well.

“With Nijmegen not happening this year the CAF was looking for a way to build on the virtual march that took place last year’’, said Major Glen Butcher, deputy commander of Task Force Nijmegen posted at 17 Wing Mission Support Squadron. “The inaugural Victory March is a way we as Canadians can support the people of the Netherlands as they remember and commemorate the victims of war and the liberation of their country at the end of the Second World War.’’

“Canada has had a special relationship with the Netherlands since the Canadian military took part in the liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War. The first week of May has a particular importance in this relationship as May 4 is Remembrance of the Dead day, May 5th is the Liberation Day of the Netherlands, and May 8 is Victory in Europe Day,’’ said Maj Butcher.

At 17 Wing, Maj Butcher will lead a team of 10 members who have expressed an interest in the Victory March. They will do the 2 x 20 kilometer march around the base on May 4 and 5, as these are the milestone marches.

“Every member of the CAF who had trained for and been selected as part of the Nijmegen team will do the 2x20 marches in their home locations making sure they follow strict safety protocols,’’ said Maj Butcher.

The Victory March is not a race and there is no medal at the end. This challenge brings together physical fitness and the importance of remembrance as it highlights the symbolic relationship that unites the Canada and the Netherland. It is open to anyone who wishes to take part and you do not have to me a member of the CAF or a veteran. Everyone is encouraged to take part and do so with social distancing protocols observed.

Anyone who wishes to take part in the Victory March can select the distance they want to march. There are distances of 2x20, 2x10, 2x5 and 2x2 km marches and you can choose to march as a family should you wish. You also chose where you want to march. Everyone who marches is asked to pick two days between 1-9 May to complete their routes.

All funds raised from the March will go to Boomer’s Legacy. Boomer’s Legacy funds humanitarian initiatives with the goal of building local capacity to provide a lasting impact. It is named in memory of Corporal Andrew “Boomer” Eykelenboom, a dedicated soldier and a Canadian Armed Forces medic, killed by a vehicle borne IED on August 11, 2006. Projects vary from helping a family, a school, a hospital or an area, to providing opportunities for women and veterans, and improving health care or education conditions. Boomer’s Legacy raises awareness of our military’s efforts on deployed operations at home and around the globe and raise funds for Boomer’s Legacy- funds our soldiers can access to further help the people in communities where they serve.

To register for the Victory March go to https://raceroster.com/events/2021/38945/victory-march-la-marche-de-la-victoire .

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