Burlington Remembers, honours and pays tribute to its veterans

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Remembrance Day is but one day we collectively come together to remember, honour and pay tribute to our local veterans and their sacrifices.

While it makes me proud as a Burlingtonian and your Mayor when I see my fellow citizens, of all ages, gather on Nov. 11, what is even more heartfelt is how you all honour those who have dedicated their lives to protecting us and our hard-fought freedoms every day.

Burlington residents proved that earlier this year when we hosted our Juno 75 Burlington Remembers anniversary event on May 6 and a full-house packed the Burlington Performing Arts Centre to support and hear about our local veterans from their families.

The full video of that night is still available online to watch at bit.ly/Juno75BurlingtonRemembers.

This past summer, I had the privilege as your Mayor to head to Courseulles-sur-Mer, France, home of the Juno Beach Centre for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

As you know, the Centre wouldn’t have been built without Burlington residents, particularly local D-Day veteran Garth Webb. Being there on that beach further impressed upon me the sacrifices made by our own brave soldiers during the Second World War.

We have a deep connection with Courseulles-sur-Mer and having learned of our city’s significant role in preserving the memory of Canada’s contributions to the war (and at the request of the host community), I asked Council in July to approve a recommendation to explore a twinning relationship with them. I’m proud that we did.

D-Day was a seminal moment in the liberation of Europe and a turning point in the war. Thousands of young men and women volunteered to fight overseas, with many of them not returning home to their families. The world owes them an immeasurable debt that we can never repay.

But what we can do is show them we have not forgotten their sacrifices all these years later and a fitting way to do so would be to attend one of the events taking place in our City on Nov. 11 — more details are at burlington.ca/remembranceday.

Another is to donate to the Royal Canadian Legion Burlington Branch’s poppy campaign that is already underway and wear a poppy.