Premier Mcguinty Joins Veterans To Unveil New Memorial
Monument Permanently Honours Canadian Heroes At Queen's Park
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today joined hundreds of military veterans to commemorate the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers and peacekeepers by unveiling a new memorial at Queen's Park.
" We're here to pay tribute to the millions of Canadian men and women who bravely fought to protect our way of life and our democracy," said Premier McGuinty. "Your sacrifices, your carelessness of self, spared generations from oppression and war -- and we are forever grateful."
All parties and the Speaker of the House expressed unanimous support for the memorial. It is the first time in 66 years that a new monument has been built on the grounds of Queen's Park.
The new Veterans' Memorial is located on the northwest part of the front lawn at Queen's Park. It consists of a 30-metre-long granite wall etched with scenes from Canada's war history and inscribed with text from author Jane Urquhart and military historian Jack Granatstein. The memorial site also features a stone-paved gathering area, a seating area, paths and a gently sloping lawn.
The Veterans' Memorial Advisory Committee, under the leadership of co-chairs Major-General Richard Rohmer (Retired) and Minister of Government Services Gerry Phillips, selected the design created by well-known Canadian artist Allan Harding MacKay and landscape architectural firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.
"We are pleased that the military, our veterans, the Province and the Crown jointly dedicated this new monument to those who have given so much," said Rohmer. "We also appreciate the dedication of the advisory committee and the input of military veterans to make this memorial and today's event so special."
"It is fitting that we have unveiled this significant memorial to coincide with the anniversary of the first parliament in Ontario," said Phillips. "The Ontario government is honoured to have this opportunity to make this lasting and dignified tribute to the contributions of every Ontarian and Canadian who was involved on the frontline, on the homefront or in peacekeeping."
The formal unveiling ceremony followed one of the largest military parades in Toronto since the Second World War, beginning at Fort York Armoury. Representatives from the army, navy, air force and cadets joined veterans' organizations, bands and mounted units.
This permanent tribute to Canadian veterans is part of the government's efforts to honour the heroism and bravery of servicemen and women across the country. The Memory Project, which preserves the recollections of Canada's veterans, also provides an opportunity for students, educators and all interested Canadians to view hundreds of personal artifacts and stories.
"Together with The Memory Project, which is preserving the recollections of Ontario's veterans, this monument underlines our government's respect for those who answered the call to serve our country and protect the Canadian way of life," said Minister Responsible for Seniors Jim Bradley.
"We will never forget the sacrifices our veterans made for us," said Premier McGuinty. "We will always cherish the freedom they gave us -- today, every day and for generations to come."