Honouring our veterans

It has been a busy week so far and several of the events I have been involved in were related to a similar theme, our veterans, and I wanted to draw attention to this as a means of showing support and appreciation for some great organizations in our community doing important work for our veterans.

On Monday, I attended a kick-off event for Veteran Families Week in our community at Superior Nissan. Thanks to the leadership of people like Greg Lefave and Frank Iezzi, along with support from the Algoma Veterans Association and the Veteran Family Program and business such as Superior Nissan, Algoma Water Tower Inn, Beyoutiful Esthetics and Lavish Salon, there are a variety of activities going on this week. I encourage people to visit www.veteranfamilyprogram.ca for a full schedule of events.

On Tuesday, I attended a street renaming ceremony for a portion of the roadway between Pine Street and Upton Road. As a tribute to the 49th Field Regiment, the area where the Armoury is located is now known as “Garrison Way”. I understand that Garrison, in the military context, is used to acknowledge a group of units that have come together. It is a fitting name for the street where our Armoury is located because the people who come together there come together to advance security at home and abroad; they come together to demonstrate pride for our community and country; they come together to support our citizens through programming and activities.

Thanks to the efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Lance Knox and the assistance of Councillors Susan Myers and Sandra Hollingsworth, the renaming request was unanimously approved City Council earlier this year. I want to recognize City staff as well, who worked diligently to facilitate the renaming.

The renaming ceremony provided me with the opportunity to serve as the reviewing officer inspecting the troops. I have enjoyed developing a close relationship with the 49th Field Regiment and 33 Service Battalion during my mayoralty and I was honoured to receive a commanding officer’s coin on Tuesday as a recognition of the City’s efforts to support and promote the Regiment and Battalion

On Wednesday, I attended a renaming ceremony for the GFL Memorial Gardens. It is fantastic to see the “Memorial Gardens” name return to our community. The original arena was built as a memorial and it is important to continue the legacy of paying tribute to our veterans. It would not have happened without a great community partner in GFL Environmental, who recognized the importance of the name, and the support of City Council, who directed staff to include the Memorial Gardens name in the RFP.

There is no overstating the importance of veterans to our community, and it is important for our community to demonstrate this support. We have fantastic organizations such as the 49th Field Regiment, 33 Service Battalion, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 and the Algoma Veterans Association, and I encourage to people these organizations and their members.