Wreaths Across Canada pro­gram re­mem­bers war he­roes

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

An ad­di­tional 18 wreaths will be placed in 2019 as or­ga­niz­ers con­tinue to find more in­di­vid­u­als to hon­our.

“Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the wreath lay­ing makes me feel as if I’d do­ing some­thing amaz­ing for the com­mu­nity,” said 16-year-old Flight Sergeant Gabriel Brunet. “It’s amaz­ing that some­thing so sim­ple will make a per­son feel great about them­selves. It’s such an easy thing to do. Some­thing so easy I’d ex­pect many peo­ple to want to do it. But most if not all of the grave­stones we laid wreathes on had noth­ing on them. I feel that do­ing this is the least we could do for these vet­er­ans.”

Wreaths Across Canada was an ini­tia­tive started in 2008 by WO (Ret’d) Craig McPhee. The first wreaths were laid in 2009 in New­found­land. The ini­tia­tive has ex­panded across Canada where thou­sands of wreaths are place on head­stones of mil­i­tary in­di­vid­u­als on a Sun­day in De­cem­ber.

“The fo­cus of the Cana­dian Cadet move­ment is to build a sense of com­mu­nity, lead­er­ship and pride in youth, aged 12-18. With a strong mil­i­tary style of train­ing, and sup­port from Na­tional De­fence, hav­ing lo­cal cadets par­tic­i­pate each year helps build valu­able char­ac­ter­is­tics and a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity in our youth. It is im­por­tant that we help our youth re­mem­ber; re­mem­ber what war can bring and the losses from our past for the free­doms we some­times take for granted to­day,” says Ma­jor Sandy Mc­Don­ald, Area El­e­men­tal Ad­viser Com­mand­ing Of­fi­cer with the 253 RCACS corps.


IM­POR­TANT GES­TURES: FSgt Gabriel Brunet places a wreath on the grave­stone of Pilot Of­fi­cer Her­bert Jasim at the Pre­cious Blood Ceme­tery in Glen Wal­ter. Below: Lead­ing Air Cadet Keirra Poulin lays a wreath on the grave stone of Cor­po­ral Lloyd Ren­shaw, buried in the Pre­cious Blood ceme­tery in Glen Wal­ter as part of Wreaths Across Canada.

For the past four years, lo­cal Royal Cana­dian Air Cadets from North and South Glen­garry have par­tic­i­pated in Wreaths Across Canada, an ini­tia­tive to place Christ­mas wreaths on the graves of ser­vice men and women who gave their lives in the de­fence of Canada and its free­doms to­day.This year was no dif­fer­ent. This year’s edi­tion took place at lo­ca­tions in Alexan­dria, Lan­caster, Wil­liamstown, Glen Wal­ter, Mart­in­town, Dun­ve­gan, Green­field, Ap­ple Hill, Moose Creek and Maxville.Cadets from 379 Glen­garry Mus­tangs and 253 Claude Nun­ney VC Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadrons par­tic­i­pated with 20 cadets helped to lay wreaths as a sign of re­spect, help­ing our com­mu­ni­ties con­tinue to re­mem­ber.Some 36 wreaths were placed this year through­out var­i­ous ceme­ter­ies, an in­crease of two wreaths from last year.The orig­i­nal in­tent was to place wreaths on graves of those who passed dur­ing or due to in­juries from World War I and World War II, how­ever, the pro­gram ex­panded to in­clude un­known sites (not reg­is­tered with the Com­mon­wealth Graves Com­mis­sion) and vet­er­ans of the Korean, Gulf and Afghanista­n wars.

CHEER: Com­mu­nity Para­medic Pro­gram client Eva Ma­honey and Corn­wall SDG Com­mu­nity Para­medic Michelle McMil­lan at the pro­gram’s re­cent Christ­mas party.

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