This inscription on a stone at the Lansdowne memorial appeared on a banner that greeted Canadian veterans when they returned to The Netherlands in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of that country.
LANSDOWNE— They gathered to honour those who served and are serving their country.
A dedication ceremony took place at the Lansdowne Community Veterans Memorial on Saturday morning. About 200 people were on hand at the memorial, which is located in front of Thousand Islands Elementary School.
The garden venue commemorates the 30 war dead from the area as well as more than 240 localmen and women who served Canada in times of conflict. The dedication marked the upcoming 100th anniversary of the end of the FirstWorld War onNov. 11.
The ceremony was held under the auspices of the Leeds and Thousand IslandsHistorical Society. The localmemorial effort dates back to 2006. Janet Gaylord, chairwoman of the veterans memorial committee, noted the importance of ensuring “that we don’t forget the cost of freedom.”
The ceremony included the unveiling of granite stones on which the names of the local men who made the supreme sacrifice and lost their lives while serving their country in the FirstWorld War, SecondWorldWar or Afghanistan appear.
Family members and friends of the fallen servicemen gathered for the unveiling. One of the stones includes the inscription: “Dying is not the worst thing that can happen. Being forgotten is.”
Gaylord referred to Lansdowne as a typical Canadian small town from which many people contributed to war and peacekeeping efforts. They were ordinary men and women who served in extraordinary times, she said.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Maj.-Gen. Steve Whelan, who returned from deployment in Iraq recently and has been appointed chief of staff— strategy for military personnel command.
“You’re a town with guts, for sure,” Whelan remarked.
Serving one’s country is “… a sacred duty and obligation I hold dear,” he stated, adding that community projects such as the Lansdowne memorial make Whelan proud to be Canadian and why he wants to serve.
Silver Cross Mother Nancee Payne placed a wreath at the monument during the ceremony; her son Randy was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2006.
Glennda Olivier, president of the historical society, read the address by Governor General Julie Payette. She indicated that she has “infinite respect” for those who serve. The address also stated the importance of remembering their courage as well as working together toward a more peaceful world.
Also speaking at the dedication was Leeds-Grenville–Thousands Islands and Rideau Lakes MPP Steve Clark. The commemoration provides an opportunity to celebrate their courage and express gratitude for their service, according to the MPP.
Clark also quoted the speech he delivered earlier this month when the Ontario legislature unanimously passed a motion to establish a monument atQueen’s Park to honour the Canadian forces members who fought in Afghanistan. “Politics should not be a factor,” the MPPtold the Lansdowne gathering. Clark stated that legislators could all agree on one thing: They owe their ability to rise in the legislature to the selfless sacrifices of the brave men and women of the forces.
Gaylord described the local memorial as a permanent sanctuary of solace. She encouraged the public to visit the memorial and in the coming days to read the names of the fallen servicemen listed in the ceremony program.
Red and white tulips are planted in the garden.
Maj.-Gen. SteveWhelan addresses the crowd at the Lansdowne Community Veterans Memorial dedication ceremony on Saturday morning.
Janet Gaylord, chairwoman of the veterans memorial committee, speaks at the dedication ceremony.
PHOTOS BY TIM RUHNKE/ FOR POSTMEDIA NETWORK This inscription on a stone at the Lansdowne memorial appeared on a banner that greeted Canadian veterans when they returned to The Netherlands in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of that country.