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More than 150 Canadian Armed Forces members to participate in Nijmegen Marches

More than 150 members of the Canadian Armed Forces are heading to Europe, where they will take part in the four-day gruelling Nijmegen Marches.

Each person has trained for long hours for the journey, which will see them walk 160 km through the Dutch countryside.

Each Canadian soldier participating in Nijmegen will wear standard combat clothing and carry a military backpack weighing at least 10 kilograms as they march 40 kilometres per day.

General Tom Lawson, Canada's Chief of Defence Staff said this journey is about so much more than physical and mental endurance.

"It's also about remembering and honouring the bravery and the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers who travelled these regions before you, who fought and who died on the same ground on which you'll be marching on their journey to liberate the Netherlands," he said.

Dutch Ambassador Cees Kole said the Dutch will forever be grateful for their efforts.

"The destination of your journey is of course, your entry into Nijmegen and the welcome with flowers you will receive from the Dutch," he said to those heading on the march. "Your untold destination is the experience of stepping into the footsteps of your forefathers, our heroes."

Sgt. Catherine Kusler, who is stationed in the National Capital Region is going to Nijmegen for the first time.

"Whenever you do something like this, sometimes you might be out doing your 40K march and you feel physically tired, or you start feeling like I can't do this and a lot of times you just think back," she said. "You think back to what they went through - what the soldiers went through back during the First World War and the Second World War, and really it gives you the motivation to realize that what we're doing is simple, compared to what they did. It's very motivating."

More than 7,600 Canadians lost their lives during the nine-month mission to liberate the Netherlands and carry the Second World War to its conclusion in 1944-1945.

During the trip to Europe, the troops will also pay tribute to the men and women who served during the First World War.

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