The unveiling of a new Algonquin Regiment monument on Sunday deserves our attention. Beginning with a parade that leaves the CNR station on Church Street at 9:30 a.m., and ends with a dedication ceremony at the site of the beautiful new monument next to the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, it is worth all the fanfare.
The Algonquin Regiment represents our very own young men and women who sacrificed their lives during the Second World War. We are losing their stories as the survivors pass away. Those horrific memories, the ones shared, are passed on within the families affected, by those who lost spouses and siblings, but stories, too, will fade as generations become removed from the wounds of the last world war. Some of those memories, buried with the traumatized soldiers who lived them, will never be revealed.
The fact we have no recent comparable tragedy to honour speaks to the impact of the outcome of World War II. Had the young men and women not made sacrifices, we might now face unimaginable strife, have little freedom, or still be sacrificing lives of our young adults to protect our rights in North America. But we’re not, so we forget.
This monument, built through the efforts spearheaded by our last remaining veterans, is their way to deal with the trauma of losing people around them on the battlefield. But it will withstand the test of time, outlasting faded stories and the passing of our last veterans – always reminding of us of what could have been, had those local men, and all the Canadians they represent, not made such sacrifice for our future.
Celebrating a monument that carries that much weight deserves our attention. So, cheer on the parade, attend the unveiling, and show the veterans still with us, and families of the deceased, how important this monument is. Show them that you will honour it, as a memory of all they sacrificed for the generations that follow.
Note: Should rain dampen the unveiling, organizers will move the ceremony into the Stockey Centre. Don’t let a bit of humidity discourage attendance.