Wreaths Across Canada program remembers war heroes
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.