Decoration Day 2023 was observed this Sunday at the Manitoulin Cenotaph.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 177 of Little Current and this year’s host, Branch 514 of Western Manitoulin, and their supporters paid homage to the men and women who served in Canada’s forces and their allies.
The Manitoulin Cenotaph was designed and built by a local group of Canadian veterans led by John C. Bryan to commemorate fallen comrades who are buried in foreign lands.
It is inscribed with 129 names of those who died in WWI and WWII and were buried in foreign lands. In addition, there is a special plaque to honour those who died in the Korean War.
Wreaths were also laid at the Seamen’s Memorial, the Women’s Memorial, and the Youth Memorial.
D-Day message 2023 – MPP Michael Mantha
Each year, many thousands of Canadians take pause and gather to recognize the Allied Invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Military leaders, Royal Canadian Legion members, clergy members, and politicians like myself traditionally deliver messages, offering words of thanks to those who served or made the ultimate sacrifice. As well we generally also include a sense of the intense pride Canadians can feel because of our herculean contribution. Canada’s contribution held strong like a ship’s anchor rope on that day when the momentum of WWII swung in the Allied Force’s favour. It will forever be remembered as a day of unparalleled unity in Canadian History.
Today, however, I’d like to consider the reason for success on that day from a different point of view. Yes, it is true; Canada’s success that day could be compared to an unyielding anchor rope of an ocean freighter. But the question is, what gives that anchor rope such strength?
A rope is crafted by combining and intertwining many hundreds of tiny individual threads. Ropemakers know that, alone, the strands they use may seem insignificant, with very low tensile strength. However, the craftsmen understand that when they braid and intertwine the tiny strands, not only do they come together to appear as a large unit of material, but it multiplies the strength of each strand by evenly distributing the tension load. In other words, the rope’s total strength is greater than the sum of its individual strands.
The contribution of each service member was vital that day. Some contributions were small, perhaps seeming insignificant. Others were larger because they perhaps led their comrades or their actions heavily impacted the enemy. The fact is; however, the contribution of each service member supported all others in some way. By combining the thousands of individual contributions, the impact or strength of Canada’s overall achievement was multiplied, just like the strands of an anchor rope.
Your presence here today shows appreciation and respect for those who served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Today we may not be on the battlefield, but nonetheless, we all are doing our part as individual fibres of the same anchor rope.