Premier Unveils New "Tribute to the Fallen"
Tribute Recognizes Service, Sacrifice And Heroism Of Military Personnel, Firefighters And Police Officers
The Ontario government is formally honouring military personnel, firefighters and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty with a new plaque that commemorates their heroism, valour and sacrifice, announced Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"I don't know that there are words strong or eloquent enough to capture the courage it takes to put oneself in harm's way in order to keep others safe," said Premier McGuinty. "But it matters that we remember the service and sacrifice of our heroes. That's what this tribute is all about."
From 2002 forward, fallen members of the Canadian Armed Forces, firefighters and police officers in Ontario will be honoured posthumously with a framed tribute. The tribute includes a specially designed trillium and a brass plate with a commemorative inscription. It will be presented to their families at one of three formal ceremonies.
The first tribute presentation will be made at a special ceremony honouring military personnel at Queen's Park on November 10, 2006. Presentations recognizing fallen firefighters and police officers will be made at their respective memorials each year.
"This unique initiative by Premier Dalton McGuinty in honouring the fallen and their families is strong testimony to the high regard that he and all members of the provincial legislature hold for Canada's military and the men and women who serve in it -- even to the ultimate sacrifice," said Major-General Richard Rohmer, who participated in the planning and design of the tribute.
"I am honoured to represent the courageous men and women who each day serve their community and put their lives on the line for a safer and stronger Ontario," said Bob Baltin, President of the Police Association of Ontario. "We are proud to stand alongside the government of Ontario as we commemorate the service of our fallen members. This tribute will forever recognize the selfless contribution made by police personnel to our province."
"Each day, firefighters across this province risk their lives for the safety and security of their fellow citizens," said Fred LeBlanc, President of the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association. "This tribute honours the memory of firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. The government is to be congratulated for honouring the contribution made by firefighters on behalf of all Ontarians."
"By creating this lasting Tribute to the Fallen, we're expressing our gratitude to the families of men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Premier McGuinty. "We will never forget their contributions, their courage or their commitment to keeping us safe and secure."