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- Remembrance is more
than one day a year
- Remembrance is more than one day a year
By Roy Bassett
Remembrance Day comes but once a year, but throughout Canada,
the United States and other allied countries there are numerous
daily reminders of battles won.
- Over the decades, cities, towns
and villages have erected memorials to their local heroes for
them to be remembered each and every day.
- They have named streets, highways,
parks, buildings and other public services in honour of those
who have served in battle.
- A section of Highway 401 between
Trenton and Toronto has been renamed the Highway of Heroes and
a stretch of Hwy. 35 north of Lindsay has been named the Midland
Regiment Commemorative Highway.
- And in late September, two new
parks in Calgary were named Valour and Victoria Cross to honour
the sacrifices of Canadians during World War 2. The park includes
images of heroes from the war.
- Reminders are everywhere we
- During a visit to Florida in
February and March, I spent many hours visiting memorials to
U.S. service men and women. It appears no expense was spared
as many were in the form of an entire park, usually with an aircraft
on a pedestal.
- We witnessed the humanitarian
side of American forces personnel when a massive C-5 Galaxy and
other aircraft were used to airlift thousands of survivors of
the Jan. 13 earthquake to the U.S., many in need of medical care.
- Over 50% of the evacuees were
flown into Sanford Airport and then transported to several areas
in Florida and throughout the U.S.
- Just about everywhere you go
in Florida, there are reminders that members of the U.S. military
are on duty in foreign lands, some fighting while many others
are assisting in disaster areas.
- In many instances, there are
reminders that Canadian military personnel are also in those
same lands, shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. military.
- Many years ago, and even today,
most monuments in Canada have paid tribute to the war dead, i.e.
WW1, WW2, Korea etc., but recently we have seen evidence of all
military personnel being remembered for their part in the war
- This was evident on my visit
to Florida, where most memorials included recognition to all
veterans, no matter where they are serving.
- One of my favorite memorials
is Sanford Veterans Memorial Park, 47,000 square feet in size
jutting out onto Lake Monroe. This park was built in 1924 and
dedicated as a memorial to the war dead of WW1. It was rededicated
in 1973 and renovated and rededicated in 2006. It is now a memorial
to all residents from Seminole County who have served their country
in the military.
- This park is used by residents
and visitors daily. On the days of my visits, there were numerous
people there, some fishing, some reading the memorial plaques,
some eating their lunch and others just sitting on one of the
many benches or just walking around enjoying the surroundings.
- The main memorial in the park
is four-sided surmounted by an eagle. On each side is a quote
from a famous American:
- "A nation united can never
be conquered" - Thomas Jefferson.
- "Give me liberty or give
me death" - Patrick Henry.
- "Ask not what your country
can do for you; ask what you can do for your country" -
John F. Kennedy.
- "We here highly resolve
that these dead shall not have died in vain" - Abraham Lincoln.
- As you walk around this park,
you cannot help but notice the hundreds and hundreds of individual
plaques set in the ground naming a Seminole County military person
killed in one of every military conflict since the start of the
few miles north of Sanford is the city of De Bary. By usual standards,
this city is about the size of a small town, the citizens of
which have dedicated a park to two local men who lost their lives,
one in Viet Nam and the other by terrorists in 1996.
- Charles Richard Beale, U.S,
Army, was only 21 when killed in Viet Nam, and Brian McVeigh,
Airman First Class, was killed in a terrorist attack on June
25, 1966, in Saudi Arabia.
- The U.S. government donated
an F15 aircraft, a tribute to McVeigh, and installed it in the
middle of the park, which can be seen from the road adjacent
to the park named after Charles Beale.
- There is also a memorial to
all servicemen missing in action and/or prisoners of war.
- On one of the Sanford Veterans
Memorial Park information displays, there is the story of the
U.S. Purple Heart Medal awarded to all Americans killed or wounded
- In the Sept. 14, 2010, edition
of our local Ontario newspaper, there was a photograph of Cpl.
Chris Hartwell receiving the new Canadian Medal, which was instituted
in August 2008.
- The Sacrifice Medal is equivalent
to the Purple Heart. Cpl, Hartwell was involved in three separate
explosions in Afghanistan in 2008 sustaining leg, back and head
- On November 11, when attending
your local cenotaph, look for this medal and thank the one who
the Great War, we have assigned November 11 of each year to specially
remember the sacrifices of all military personnel. Thousands
of residents will attend their local cenotaphs on that day, all
wearing the poppy, a badge of remembrance.
- Remember, during the week or
so leading up to November 11, buy a poppy from one of your local
Legion members and wear it proudly to show your continued support
for the Canadian Forces.
- As Sir Winston Churchill said
in an address to British Parliament in 1940 of the sacrifices
made in battle: "Never in the field of human conflict, was
so much owed by so many to so few."
- It was a message to our allies
and enemies that the sacrifice of members of the military should
be recognized and remembered for all time.
- At the time, Churchill was praising
the Battle of Britain Fighter Pilots, but those words equally
apply to all military personnel at all times, especially in the
many conflicts of the 20th Century.
- 1 - Veteran's Memorial Park in Sanford, Florida
- 2 - Overview of popular Veteran's Memorial Park
- 3 - Soldier's memorial plaque in De Bary, Florida
- 4 - Stretch of Ontario's Hwy. 401 named for the fallen
- Roy Bassett is a veteran
of the British Army (1950s) and a retired Toronto policeman.
He can be reached at email@example.com
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