The Nijmegen Marches are a rigorous and prestigious annual event, held in the city of Nijmegen, Netherlands. Canada has been participating in the event since 1952, and it is the 65th anniversary of the CAF’s involvement in the Nijmegen Marches. The march requires entrants to complete the four-day 160 km (4 x 40 km) march in uniform, carrying a minimum rucksack load of 10 kg. The year 2017 marks the 101st time the marches have been held since they began in 1909. The marches are both a challenging and emotional experience, especially for Canadian Forces Members.
In addition to the obvious physical hardships, the Nijmegen March is the largest pilgrimage of Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen to a war cemetery outside Canada. During the Second World War, Canadian soldiers liberated the area around Nijmegen and there is a large military cemetery in nearby GROESBEEK. It serves a final resting place for over 2300 Canadian soldiers and airmen. The cemetery is on the route of the third day of marching and all military marchers halt there to pay their final respects and conduct remembrance services.