Few living today remember World War 2; there are more people in our community who served or serve abroad or at home than any of us know. People returning from the World Wars often spoke little of their experiences to spare family and themselves the pain; first responders have a duty of confidentiality; and now schools have little in the curriculum to help understand the costs of maintaining our freedom and safety, and keeping our nation strong and free.
Do you know these neighbours who served or serve?
The continued passing of people who served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and veterans’ growing concerns that Canadians have forgotten or do not understand the price of freedom, led to the idea of a permanent memorial to be the focal point of November Remembrance activities for Metis and surrounding areas, as well as a place to visit and reflect year-round. We are grateful to Veterans Affairs Canada and the Ville de Métis-sur-Mer for partnering with us to honour veterans and serving men and women, as well as first responders, who put their lives on hold and on the line for people in our community.
We hope you want to learn more about those in the Métis community who made or are making sacrifices unimaginable to most of us. It has been said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. In a similar vein, a young man in Metis recently recalled a quote he had heard: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from being lost.” We are witnessing an increasing divisiveness among and within countries, and perhaps a growing self-interest. This is not what our forefathers and mothers fought for, nor what those today on peacekeeping or disaster relief missions strive for.
The memorial, to be called “The Torch/Le flambeau”, will cost $24,000. Veterans Affairs Canada is funding half the cost, and Les Amis des Jardins de Métis and a number of private individuals already have donated amounts towards the remaining financial requirements. The Jack Herbert Foundation is very generously matching the private donations dollar for dollar to the maximum needed.
Supporting the physical memorial will be a permanent display online on Heritage’s website. It will include history, photos, and oral recollections of the involvement of people from the area in war, peacekeeping, and emergency missions to help ensure that we never forget.
We know that at this time of COVID, many face additional financial pressures and higher priorities, and so ask that you consider giving something in line with your means. Tax receipts will be provided by the Ville for amounts over $20.
- Mail a cheque payable to the Ville de Métis-sur-Mer (with “Torch Memorial” in the memo line) c/o Pam Andersson, Community Liaison & Archive Coordinator and Remembrance Week activities manager, at Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, 130 rue Principale, Métis-sur-Mer, QC, G0J 1S0, or call Pam to arrange to drop off cash or a cheque – any amount will be most gratefully received.
- E-mail your contribution using the internet payment function your financial institution offers to Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org with the word monument (all lower case) as the password (please also email her directly to provide contact information for tax receipts and so we can thank you).
- Call Pam at (418) 936-3239, ext. 221 or email her to discuss people you would like to be sure are recognized in the virtual memorial, ways to help, and any other details.
Thank you so much for helping; please share this request with friends and family who are interested.