The 2020 Remembrance Day ceremony held today in Métis-sur-Mer with the theme Sacrifices and Accomplishments had a decidedly different flavour than in past years. COVID prevention measures limited the usually large audience. More importantly, this year’s Remembrance Day was marked by the unveiling of a new Veterans’ monument that graces the gardens in front of the Métis-sur-Mer Municipal Office, as well as the launch of a virtual memorial to enable everyone to learn more about the serving men and women who sacrificed and achieved so much.
The monument, titled The Torch, was built through a partnership between Veterans Affairs Canada through its Commemorative Partnership Program (with a financial participation of $11,951, representing half of the cost of the project), the Ville de Métis-sur-Mer and Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence. A fundraising effort, backed by the Jack-Herbert Foundation, has received tremendous community support and is ongoing.
“In this year, the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the project is of particular importance to the community. The monument is a gesture of appreciation for the sacrifice of those who came before us, and the dedication of those who serve today – the community is now being given the opportunity to say thank you,” said Carolle-Anne Dubé, mayor of Métis-sur-Mer.
Alexander Reford, President of Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence, emphasized the importance of the duty to remember: “It’s a piece of history of the Mitis region that shall not be forgotten, from the contribution to the Forces in past conflicts, to the Station Road cemetery where British, Australian and New Zealander pilots rest in peace, to the Sainte-Flavie watch towers. Contemporary history is still being written today by regular and reserve forces members as well as emergency responders, who have given so much. They deserve this tribute in the form of the monument in our region and the online memorial.”
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay also relayed his comments on Remembrance Day and the unveiling of the new monument: “The service of brave Canadians continues to be recognized by monuments across the country. I’m so pleased that the municipality of Métis-sur-Mer will forever honour Canadian Veterans through their monument The Torch. It serves as a symbol of courage and valour that we’re proud to support through the Commemorative Partnership Program.”