As you know from people donning the familiar poppy, Remembrance Day is almost upon us.
This Remembrance Day will be a very special occasion in Pelham. Not only will it be the 90th Anniversary of the end of the First World War, but the Veteran’s Park will be officially dedicated at the cenotaph.
In fact, nearly 600 veterans, families, individuals, schools, businesses, and service clubs have purchased and engraved bricks from the Pelham Veteran's Park committee and donated $120,000 to beautify the cenotaph.
More than 340 Veterans 12"X12" bricks have been purchased and engraved with the Veteran's name, rank, branch of service, and the words “Lest We Forget” with a red poppy. More than 200 Citizens 6"X12" bricks have been purchased and engraved with a citizen's or family’s name. And, more than 40 corporate 12"X12" bricks have been purchased and engraved with the business’s logo. There are other donors of $1,000 or more, each “purchasing” a bench, a light post, a war marker, the flag pole, a sign, or shrubbery.
A new flag pole, accent lights, a decorative fence, and a specially engraved sign have all been installed. The park includes distinctive markers for World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Peacekeeping Missions, and Afghanistan. All the work was designed and completed by DeKorte Landscaping.
The official dedication of the Veteran’s Park will occur immediately after the Legion’s Remembrance Day service at 11:00 on November 11 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Fonthill.
The dedication will feature greetings by the Veteran’s Park Chair, Gerry Berkhout, and an explanation of the park’s vision by Jack DeKorte. Because of the importance of the park’s dedication, Dean Allison, MP, Tim Hudak, MPP, and Peter Partington, Regional Chair will each participate. Chair Partington will present a special sign to mark the section of Regional Road #20 from Rice Road to Station Street as “Veteran’s Way.” I, too, will speak on behalf of you and other Pelham residents about the importance of Remembrance Day and the park.
In addition, Jeff Brazeau, a Canadian soldier stationed in Afghanistan, will provide a current perspective. Then, the St. Ann School Choir will sing “There Is A Place.” Finally, Don Cotter, President of the Legion, and other dignitaries will officially dedicate Veteran’s Park.
More than ever, this year’s service will be a very important and moving dedication to honour the service and sacrifice of our Veterans. I hope you will be able to join us on Remembrance Day.