Today is full of public activities and media coverage commemorating a host of historical events and organizations that are very close to my heart.
May 4 marks the annual International Firefighters Day, which celebrates the dedication of all the men and women who serve their communities each and every day as professional or volunteer firefighters.
Ontario Police Memorial events take place each year on the first Sunday in May to honour fallen police officers. This year the names of 254 were read aloud, including most recently added PC John Zivcic, of Toronto Police Services, who died in December, 2013.
The first Sunday in May is also reserved to remember the heroism and sacrifice of the Royal Canadian Forces in the Battle of the Atlantic, which was the longest battle in the Second World War. Many towns and cities across the country are hosting ceremonies and activities honouring veterans who participated in this ongoing and pivotal wartime effort.
And as Canada prepares to hold its National Day of Honour this Friday, May 9, a group of 19 ill or injured veterans from the Afghanistan conflict kicked off the Soldier On Afghanistan Relay – a relay to salute the Canadians who participated in the Afghanistan war as well as the Canadian public for their support. Their trek was launched at the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial at CFB Trenton and will finish in Ottawa in time for the Day of Honour commemorative events at the end of this week.
Each of these events, and all those who participate, are a stark reminder of the importance of remembering our history and the efforts of all those who have served – whether in civilian or military roles.
You can also ask your local Canadian or international bookseller.
Photo 1: “Officers paying their respects to the 254 fallen officers, including PC John Zivcic,” Laurie McCann, @thecoffeecop, Twitter, May 4, 2014.
Photo 3: “Standing on guard at Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial in Trenton to kick off Soldier On relay,” Claudia Cautillo, Claudio@CTV, Twitter, Sunday, May 4, 2014.