From left: The Honourable Shelly Glover,
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, Sandra
Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint and Allen
McRae, representative of Clan McCrae Society of Canada unveil a
silver collector coin commemorating the 100th anniversary of In
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, APRIL 30, 2015
– One hundred years after Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae
penned In Flanders Fields on the battlefield of Ypres,
Belgium, the Royal Canadian Mint has issued silver collectors coins
commemorating the iconic poem which honours all those who risked or
sacrificed their lives in defense of democratic values, and inspired
the adoption of the poppy as a universal symbol of remembrance.
A one-ounce silver coin capturing the stirring imagery of In
Flanders Fields was unveiled today with descendants of Lt. Col.
McCrae at a special ceremony held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
A coloured five-ounce silver coin is also being issued to commemorate
"No story is more symbolic of the
ultimate sacrifice made in wartime than Lt. Col. John McCrae's writing
of In Flanders Fields, a literary tribute to fallen Canadian
troops which gave an eternal voice to those who died in the fight for
justice and freedom in the First World War, and every war which
followed," said Sandra Hanington, President and CEO of the Royal
Canadian Mint. "The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to produce coins
to honour the contributions of Canadian forces throughout history and
it is fitting that the poem which has remembered them over the last
100 years is forever preserved on exquisitely crafted silver collector
The Second Battle of Ypres, which began
on April 22, 1915, is where Canada was first precipitated into combat
as the newly formed Canadian Expeditionary Force successfully pushed
back the advance of German forces after French troops were dispersed
by the first gas attack in military history. With one in three
Canadian soldiers killed or wounded in this costly counterattack, Lt.
Col. John McCrae was moved to remember this incredible sacrifice by
writing In Flanders Fields.
Canadian artist Laurie McGaw has
designed a one-ounce silver coin with a $20 face value, dated
1915-2015, which thoughtfully captured the indelible imagery of a poem
which Canadians still recite in memory of our fallen after 100 years.
An iconic poppy, a Canadian soldier with his head bowed before row on
row of crosses marking the graves of fallen comrades, as well as the
horizon of the fields which gave the poem its name, powerfully capture
the moment that Lt. Col. McCrae wanted the world to never forget.
An equally poignant image, embellished
by brilliant touches of colour and the opening words of In
Flanders Fields, in English and French, can be found on a
five-ounce silver coin designed by artist Tony Bianco.
Both of these coins can be ordered by
contacting the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the
US, or online at www.mint.ca.
The coins will also be available at the Royal
Canadian Mint's boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well
as through the Mint's global network of dealers and distributors,
including participating Canada Post outlets.
About the Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint is the Crown Corporation responsible for the
minting and distribution of Canada's circulation coins. An ISO
9001-2008 certified company, the Mint is recognized as one of the
largest and most versatile mints in the world, offering a wide range
of specialized, high quality coinage products and related services on
an international scale. For more information on the Mint, its products
and services, visit www.mint.ca.