Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Honour of the Great Ones

Today is the day that we remember those who have fought and died in battle so that we could live the lives we do and have the advantages that we have.

For those who don't know, in Canada (and apparently Great Britain) we wear a poppy, like the one above, at this time of year to honour fallen soldiers. The great challenge is to find a way to keep the poppies secure since they just attach with a pin and most people I know end up buying more than one a year.

In Stanley Park there are a couple of memorials to our war veterans.

This is the Japanese Canadian War Memorial built to commemorate those who fought in World War I.
One hundred and ninety Japanese Canadian citizens answered the call to arms for World War I and of those fifty four didn't come home. Those fifty four names are engraved on this monument that was erected on April 2, 1920.

On  August 2, 1985 this mmemorial to Japanese Canadian soldiers was relit so that we never forget their sacrifice.

Also in Stanley Park is the Air Force Memorial Gardens.

Not Here they fell who died a world to save; Not here they lie but in a thousand fields afar. Here is their living spirit that knows no grave. Not here they were - but are.

This garden is dedicated as a living memorial in honoured tribute to the service, sacrifice and achievement of our gallant airmen. By the Women's Auxiliary to the Air Services, Vancouver BC, May 9, 1948.

This plaque is one of the first things you see as you enter this paradise. What I really liked about this memorial garden is that the plants are not designed to only be gorgeous in the spring and summer.

This memorial garden isn't just for Canadians though there is a plaque to honour the Canucks.

This plaque was erected September 16, 1973. Dedicated in tribute to all comrades by the British Servicemen's Association Vancouver, BC.

In Memory of the Aussies who fought so bravely.

Memorial trees have been planted in this garden. This one was planted by the Royal Canadian Air Force to honour those serving members who lost their lives.

The Royal Air Forces Association gave this English Oak Tree in memory of those airmen of the United Kingdom who trained in Canada and lost their lives in World War II and in gratitude for the kindness they received from the people of Canada. (planted on behalf of the Association by Air Chief Marshall Sir John Baker G.B.E. K.C.B M.C. D.F.C. 25th October 1964)

In Chinatown there is a memorial to those Chinese Canadians who served.

This monument was erected to commemerate the significant  contributions of Chinese Canadians to the growth, vitality and prosperity of Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada.

Sculptor Mr. Arthur Shu-Ren Cheng designed this Chinatown Memorial Monument. The bronze statues represent a railway worker and a World War II veteran and signify the sacrifices made by Chinese Canadians in the creation of Canada. The center piece is a stylized form of the Chinese character  centre to symbolize the Chinese Culture. The Chinese couplet inscribed reads:

Rich legacies of Chinese pioneers shining bright as the sun and moon. Great deeds of noble forbears zeal entrenched as mountains and rivers.

Here's what it looked like today.

The cenotaph at Victory Square was also the center of tribute ceremonies.

I took a walk around and walked by the Beatty Street Drill Hall. While there one of the members of the Armed Forces let me take a picture of him.

There is something so impressive about a man in uniform.

Today is the day that we reserved to remember the true great ones, the men and women who have left their home and everything they know to protect our way of life. Or perhaps they were sent to keep peace in a country full of unrest. While we remember those who sacrificed in years gone by I hope that we will also give a prayer of thanks, and of protection, to those who are serving as you read this.

I hope you find the beauty around you.

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1 comment:

  1. The Veterans of Foreign Wars in the US hands out imitation poppies in front of stores on November 11.
    Is there a memorial for the Canadians who fought in Korea and served in the US Armed Forces during Vietnam? There are a few Canadians whose names are carved in the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC.