To serve is to sacrifice, to serve is to put the needs of others before your own. This weekend I would like to encourage us all to remember the veterans who put the needs of this country before their own.
Today marks Indigenous Veterans Day and Monday Nov. 11 will mark Remembrance Day – days to remember and commemorate the contributions of those who served during the First World War (WWI), the Second World War (WWII), and the Korean War.
Twenty-five years ago, Manitoba was the first province to celebrate Indigenous Veterans Day, a day to recognize the more than 12,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit people who served and commemorate the hundreds who sadly lost their lives. They were known to be patient, full of stealth, very precise, and tremendously courageous.
Manitoba has many notable heroes, one of them being Tommy Prince who received many accolades for his bravery and tact on the war zone. He was an Indigenous Canadian who fought in WWII and in the Korean War. He served as part of the Canadian Parachute Battalion, the 1st Canadian Special Service Battalion, and later was part of an American unit called the 1st Special Service Force (1st SSF).
He was recently acknowledged as on one of our heroes under the Hometown Heroes program run by Parks Canada. His accomplishments are still celebrated – to date a school and some streets in Manitoba and Alberta have been named after him.
Women also played an important role in various conflicts. They worked as mechanics, parachute riggers, wireless operators, clerks, nursing sisters, and more. Canadian military nurses known as nursing sisters were known to be diligent, sacrificial, and hardworking. Despite the challenges of the war zone, they persevered and served tirelessly.
Let’s remember they that served on and off the battlefield. Those known and unknown all played an important role in these two days being commemorated. I will be attending the Indigenous Veterans day event at Wapanohk Community School and a Remembrance Day service at C.A Nesbitt Arena in Thompson. I hope to see community members there!
I look forward to the next column, which will be in the first week of session – the week of Nov. 17. Please feel free to contact me at any time at Danielle.Adams@yourmanitoba.ca! I will provide further contact information once it is available.