DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Uxbridge Legion is busy planning a grand ‘thank you’ for Canada’s troops at an event in Elgin Park next year.
Legion representatives Dave Thibodeau and Jim Rowlands presented their plan to hold a special ‘Uxbridge Thanks our Troops’ event in Elgin Park on Saturday, May 31.
The Legion has partnered with Wounded Warriors Canada for the event, and the charity will be the recipient of all monies raised.
"We don’t want to go back to those days after the Korean War when the military seemed to be put on the back burner," Mr. Thibodeau said. "They’re always there for us serving our country and deserving of our support. Thankfully, we don’t have the hearses going down the Highway of Heroes. But, we are still dealing with the aftermath of Afghanistan and Bosnia and the rise of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) issues."
In 2007, Uxbridge became the first community in Canada to proclaim a day in support of our troops. On that day, almost 1,300 residents took part in a parade from the Legion to Elgin Park where they were joined by thousands of other participants gathered to show support to the troops.
Next year, the Legion will be calling on the residents of Uxbridge and its neighbours to come together and form a ‘Living Support Ribbon’ in Elgin Park.
"It will be a public thank you to our military and let them know that their contributions will not be forgotten. Hopefully, Uxbridge can become a pebble in the pond, and the ripple will hopefully reach other communities," Mr. Thibodeau said.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O’Connor enthusiastically endorsed the event, and offered on behalf of council to provide Elgin Park at no charge for the event. As well, ownship staff will investigate alternatives to insurance to aid the Legion in keeping costs for running the event to a minimum.
"I’d like to work it out so that there’s no cost to the Legion and all money raised comes back to this great cause," added Mayor O’Connor.
The Mayor also lashed out at Minister of Veterans Affairs Julian Fantino in regards to the treatment of veterans by the current federal government.
"Isn’t it sad to see that we have a Minister in Fantino - that has a pension from York Region, the OPP and the City of Toronto - and he can stand on TV and say that (veterans) don’t need any help," commented Mayor O’Connor.
As well, Ward 1 Councillor Bev Northeast had high praise for the event, explaining that two members of her family have served in the military, and her grandson recently left the military and is dealing with PTSD.
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