Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97 at the 2014 VE Day Commemoration

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 97 join Mayor Anthony Housefather at the 2014 VE Day Commemoration

 

A chill in the air and light mist did not dampen the resolve of the aging local veterans of WWII to remember the sacrifices of their comrades and friends so many decades ago. While their numbers, sadly, diminish each year they were strongly supported by politicians, diplomats, volunteers and residents at this solemn and meaningful gathering.

Mayor Housefather eloquently said to those assembled that we are duty bound to repeat again and again, and to teach the younger generations of what our parents and grandparents did to secure our free and democratic country and to never remain silent in face of adversity. I believe that of all our mayor’s magnificent speeches throughout the year his VE Day remarks are his most heartfelt and touching ones.

 

 

Dutch Consul General Michael Polak gave a stirring account of his parents liberation from war-torn Holland and eventual emigration to Canada, where they settled in Cote Saint-Luc. Polak’s speech was both personal and emotional. He gave sincere thanks to the veterans for his family’s sake and he received a loud applause from the audience.

 

 

VE Day enactment of a vintage WWII RCAF paratroopers uniform

VE Day enactment of a vintage WWII RCAF paratrooper’s uniform

 

 

Newly elected MNA David Birnbaum represented the Government of Quebec and expressed great appreciation to the veterans gathered at this annual event. The British Consul and Israeli Consul General Joel Lion also thanked those who served oversees and laid wreaths commemorating their sacrifices on behalf of their respective countries. Former MNA Lawrence Bergman was on hand as was former Councillor Isadore Goldberg as well as Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg, Police Commander Marc Cournoyer, Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, a contingent from the volunteer Citizens on Patrol under Supervisor Susie Schwartz and members of EMS. The RCAF band provided musical accompaniment.

In my own effort to capture a snapshot of history and pass on the messages of our dear veterans please watch the following short interview with Branch 97 President Frank Levine, Sidney Barnett and my dad, George Nashen.

 

 

 

 

 

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