Saturday, 4 September 2021

Orangeville - Bravery Park

 

 

Location:  Dufferin County     N 43.90504   W -80.12955

On the east side of Riddell Road (Dufferin Rd. 109), in the park behind the BMX track at the Alder Street Community Centre.

 

Bravery Park is the newest memorial in Ontario, unveiled to great fanfare and ceremony on September 3, 2021.  It was truly the effort of a dedicated community to making this park a reality.  The idea of this beautiful park was inspired by the death of local hero Cpl. Matthew McCully, who was killed in action in Afghanistan may 25, 2007.  His family (sister Shannon McGrady and mother Valerie McGrady)was the driving force behind the memorial, along with the Royal Canadian Legion and dozens of local volunteers.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by invitation only, but was well supported by veterans, sponsors and donors, local politicians, bands, armoured vehicles and local dignitaries.  Speeches were given by many guest speakers including the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswel, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) William Adcock, former CF sniper and spokesman Jody Mitic and Shannon McGrady.  The Canadian Forces Snowbirds did a flyover of the ceremony.  I was not one of those privileged to attend the service, but I did make an appearance after the ceremony to pay my respects and to capture the emotion of the day.

I would like to use some of Shannon's speech here to convey the message of thanks for all who have served:

"And finally, our troops. The reason we are all here today. We are deeply honoured to have so many of you join us. Although this park is often portrayed as a memorial to my brother, it isn’t and never was. It was inspired by his legacy, but this park has always been about all of you.

As a country, we do an incredible job of honouring our fallen soldiers. However, much of Canada remains unaware of the daily sacrifices you make to serve Canada and the world at large. You sacrifice months, even years, with loved ones to complete humanitarian and environmental missions all over the world. Some of these missions expose you to extreme devastation and danger, often having a lasting impact on your mental and physical health. For many of you, the sights, sounds and smells of these missions never go away.
And yet despite everything you sacrifice, I’ve yet to meet a soldier or veteran that considers themselves a hero. You say it was your job, what you were trained to do. But it is far more than that.
Many of us here today serve our communities, even our province, but you, you serve our country, and what a great country it is. You are Canada’s heroes and we are so very proud of you.
This park honours you, your family, your sacrifices, your achievements, your bravery."
Thank you for your service.

Also, from the Bravery Park Facebook page, these are Shannon's words to describe the new memorial statue:
"Introducing the statue in Bravery Park!
Designed to capture the compassion and bravery of our Canadian soldiers, the statue was created by local artists Donna Pascoe and Peter Turrell, with Valerie McGrady (Bravery Park's founder). This piece took many hours to conceptualize and received input from different parties, including Canadian soldiers themselves.
The heartfelt exchange of a Giant Swallowtail signifies rebirth and new beginnings brought about by change and transformation. The statue is mounted in the center of a Victoria Cross. The highest decoration a soldier can receive, the Victoria Cross is awarded for valour, self-sacrifice, or devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy."
 
 

 
 
 
 














 


Sunday, 22 August 2021

Noelville

 

Location:  Sudbury District     N 46.13539   W -80.43149

At the corner of St. David Street North and Vercheres Street, beside the fire hall.

This memorial represents the municipality of French River.  The memorial itself is located in the bilingual village of Noelville, in the aptly named Veterans Park.  The local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion oversees the care of the park.  No names are listed on the memorial, the grey granite marker simply reminding all who pass to remember the fallen.  A large stone with a plaque recognizes the companies and organizations that were responsible for the creation of the memorial.

 

Marker text:

LEST WE

FORGET


FRENCH RIVER

ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION

BRANCH 640


WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

ON SE SOUVIENDRA






Sunday, 15 August 2021

Richmond Hill - Peace Park

 

Location:  York Region     N 43.83764   W -79.42978

8640 Yonge Street, on the grounds of the Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization.

 

 

This memorial was unveiled in 2010 on World Peace Day.  It is a statue of peace and also a remembrance of those who gave all to allow us to live in peace.  Peace Park has several displays within its boundaries, including Gomukh Fountain, Mahatma Gandhi Statue, Memorial to Fallen Soldiers, an Inukshuk for Canada's Indigenous natives, Dedication to Children, In Flanders Fields plaque, and the Nelson Mandela memorial.  This is all located on the grounds of the Vishnu Mandir Temple which is home to the Canadian Museum of Indian Civilization.  There is a lot going on here, a great addition to the local community.  More can be seen at their website:  https://vishnumandir.com/attractions/peace-park/

 

The memorial itself stands at the heart of Peace Park.  This magnificent monument captures the glory and heroism of our armed forces. Shaped as a maple leaf, it is exquisitely carved in black and Imperial red granite, sourced from southern India.  There is also a pair ofplaques with the words of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields" and also a poem entitled "Because of Them", written by a local grade 6 student.

 

 

Marker text:

This memorial is dedicated by the

Indo-Canadian community to the Canadian Armed Forces

for their exemplary service, courage and bravery as

peacekeepers all over the world.

"They sacrificed their lives so that we may

live in peace."

This monument has been donated to the

Canadian Museum of Hindu Civilization by

Shylee & Ajit Someshwar

Christine & Bhupinder Khalsa

Jaya & Vasu Chanchlani


When peace doves soar high over our skies

When the beacon of friendship and love

illuminate our lives

When the winds of peace begin to serenade

over our lands

Let us embrace each other, all hatred forgotten

Will you then, spare a thought for soldiers like me

who did not return. 

A Fallen Soldier

  

  

 

  

 










Sunday, 8 August 2021

Rockland

 

Location:  Prescott and Russell County     N 45.55032   W -75.29851

Beside the Clarence-Rockland Town Hall, 1560 Laurier Street.

Rockland is a fast-growing bilingual community 25 kilometres east of Ottawa.  Most of the town's residents make the daily commute into the nation's capital, then return home to the relaxing shopping and recreational opportunities provided in this expanding part of the province.

The memorial is dedicated to the memory of soldiers lost in the two World Wars, Korea and Afghanistan.  The names listed on the grey granite stone are only those lost in World War II.  Interesting is that the inscriptions are written in either French or English, depending on the native language of the fallen soldier. There are no markings on the back to indicate those lost in other conflicts.

 

***Photos by Louise Bellec.


Marker text:

Front:

AN MEMORIAM

1939 – 1945

W01. LAWRENCE R. MOFFATT
DIED MAY 4,1942, AGED 31 YRS.
SGT. ROLLAND F. PILON
MORT LE 6, AVRIL, 1943,
À L’ÂGE DE 27 ANS.
M.N. RAYMOND L. LAJEUNESSE
DIED FEB.18,1944, AGED 19 YRS.
LIEUT. GAETAN LAVIGNE
MORT LE 10, JULLIET, 1944,
À L’ÂGE DE 24 ANS.
LAC. LÉO PIGEON
MORT LE 20 À OUT, 1944.
À L`ÂGE DE 19 ANS
CAPT. JAMES WILLIAMSON
DIED IN ACTION OCT. 18,
1944, AGED 26 YRS.
MAJ. GEORGE A. WHITE
DIED IN ACTION OCT. 23,
1944, AGED 28 YRS.
WO2. JACQUES SIMARD
MORT LE 14, JANVIER, 1945,
À L’ÂGE DE 23 ANS.
SGT. BERNARD GASTON PILON
MORT LE 30 MARS, 1945.
À L’ÂGE DE 19 ANS.

W. W. I. 1914 – 1918
KOREAN WAR 1950 – 1953

AFGHANISTAN

2001 - 2014