I assure you I am more frustrated than you at these delays. But life keeps happening.
Cheers till later in the week,
Canadian Medal of
Considerable time in collating materials for a public talk I am giving next week on my research has cut into my blog activities. It is 8 pm as I write and I still have hours of work to do on today's blog. So I will be posting today's blog probably on Thursday night, with a 2nd to follow on Sunday.
I assure you I am more frustrated than you at these delays. But life keeps happening.
Cheers till later in the week,
Last week I brought you some details on the late 1920's culmination of a several year battle by Canadian women to gain the RIGHT to hold various public offices, including a seat in our Senate.
An outline of the battle, introduction of the famous "Person's Case," the court battles in Canada and then in England and finally victory for the five women leading the charge. Women who have since become known as the Famous Five and the Alberta Five.
The blog also spoke of the subsequent creation of the national and highly coveted PERSON'S AWARD presented to between 5 and 7 women annually, and gave names of those so presented a few days ago. Noted also was the fact that the event also would take place during the very month, now being celebrated, and for the 25th year, and known as Women's History Month.
Surely destined to receive one of these Persons Awards ought to be Victoria BC's Merna Forster, shown here with our (then serving) Governor General, His Excellency David Johnston.
The multi talented, and award winning author and advocate for women's issues is shown here after just being presented with the History Award for Popular Media, by our Commander-in-Chief exactly one year ago this Saturday.
You will hopefully remember Merna as the leading force spending years circulating the signature gathering petition that produced some 70,000 Canadian supporters in an effort to see the return of women's images on our paper currency. Women chosen for their incredible deeds that have become the fabric of our nation.
Her work, and that of her supporters will see a new $10 bill in a few months. One honoring one of our great fore- mothers. Hopefully it will soon be joined by women's likeness on other bills as well.
You will also hopefully recall Merna's two recent books, shown above, and celebrating women's accomplishments. A third, I pray is in the works.
Goodness knows who would do its introduction though!
The first was done by a former Prime Minister, Canada's only female PM at that. And the second got its intro by a female astronaut. Now one of our very few Canadian Governor's General.
Few, if any authors can claim this acknowledgement of their dedication to Canada's history?
regular readers will remember a recent story I brought you about another Canadian woman.
Back in 1917 with the famous... but illegal...purge that saw some 900 Medals of Honor removed from the honor rolls of all recipients, a new pyramid of honours was created for bravery in the US.
With these changes, immediately below the MOH, for the navy came the new Navy Cross. And during WWl there were only four awarded to women. Three were posthumous awards. The forth went to Lenha Higbee. Her story was mentioned several times on this site.
The above vessel was named the USS Higbee in her honour, was the the first vessel bombed during the Vietnam war and did quite honourable service during WW11 and beyond. It has been recently announced that a new vessel, again honouring Higbee will be unveiled in a few years time.
It is fitting that Lenha Higbee be again mentioned in this space during Women's History Month. She was the first in the US Navy history to be awarded a Navy Cross.
Here Lenha is shown wearing her nurses uniform with two ribbons. One may well be the Navy Cross.
And here is the Navy Cross, the second highest medal in the US Navy for heroism.
And the reason why I am again bringing this story forward is to remind all, and for first time readers, inform you that Chief Nurse Lenha Higbee, was the first of only four Navy Cross recipients ever, and the only living female recipient in the medal's history.
And I should close noting that Lehna, was born about one hundred miles north of Moncton New Brunswick... in CANADA.
I had intended to bring you another very important story yesterday, but I amassed so much info, that it will not fit into today's blog. Please return for some more exciting news on this next week.
Till then, cheers,
It took years to set the scene. Years were women were ignored, pushed aside and generally kept "in their places" according to the men of the day. Years battling with city hall, and various provincial legislatures and then even with the politicians and courts at Ottawa.
But they and their followers did not give in to the draconian, stupid and outright silliness of the day. You've probably heard about it, read it in books and perhaps, with some hope, studied it in school.
Here are those two historic questions. Issues that led to a decision forcing the men to begrudgingly remove their blinders and finally see the light of day. A light that shall never stop shining for all Canadians, regardless of gender.
For years women's groups and individuals had been seeking the opportunity to better serve their communities in various aspects. This included membership in the decision making bodies, the local, provincial and federal ministries, departments etc. These of course included the Senate of Canada.
While many women had received nominations for the senate the men of the day came up with a bagful of excuses why such appointments could not be made. Fin ally they rested on an old British case that claimed that women were in fact not persons, and it was only PERSONS who could be appointed to the senate.
Up until 1949, the final court of the land... the Supreme Court, was actually the Privy Council in London. So the five women spiriting the action, having exhausted all avenues within Canada to get some common sense from the powers to be in Canada, decided to take matters to the Privy Council. Thus, the above letter.
The historic decision was handed down on October 18, 1929 , a portion of which is shown here...
The five women who fought the case to the highest level were of course later better known as the Alberta Five and the Famous Five. The names of Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Henriette Muir Edwards and Louise McKinney shall hopefully be implanted in the hearts and minds forever of all Canadians for their service to Canada.
On Oct 18 1999, the 70th anniversary of the Privy Council decision, this memorial of the Famous Five was unveiled at Olympic Plaza in Calgary. An identical memorial was unveiled a year later, to the day, at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
This memorial to the famous Five is on the grounds of the Legislature in Manitoba.
This close-up of the above image depicts Nellie McClung telling the world that women are obviously persons. Despite the wide spread and paternalistic views of many men at Ottawa and elsewhere back in the apparent dinosaur age of 1929.
Fifty years later, in 1979 the short lived Conservative government of Joe Clarke left Canadians with a wonderful legacy. That of the Persons Awards.
The story has been told in past blogs here, but the gist of it was that a new award was created to honour five women each year that were nominated from individuals and groups across the country, to receive an award in honour of their work to better the lives of Canadian girls and women, in a wide range of activities.
In that year the nominations were so plentiful, and the credentials so high, that the committee had great trouble in selecting only 5. In fact they couldn't, and so for the first year ever of the awards, they held an elaborate ceremony at Ottawa and presented not five... but 7 awards. This happened again in 2004. On 16 other occasions a total of 6 awards were made. In all others, now totaling 39 years, 5 medals were awarded each year. The current total, from my calculations shows that 247 awards have been made.
Most, but not all occurred on October 18th, and at Rideau Hall. Several years ago a new grade of classification was created and known as the Youth Person's Award. There has also been one if not more times when a male has received the award.
Many years ago the Persons Awards morphed by name into the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
This image is of the actual Persons Award. It is quite impressive and measures 2 1/2 inches across, and depicts images of the five suffragettes. Up to 1989 and possibly beyond, it came with a simple white suspension ribbon and was worn around the neck.
Years later the unimpressive ribbon was replaced as shown above.
Next week, not on the 18th for unknown reasons, but on the 19th at Rideau Hall these five women and one youth will be presented with the Persons Award. Their numbers are included in the 247 above noted. If you go to the Governor General's website, you can read the bio's of these most accomplished Canadians. Here is the site ... http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/commemoration/gg/recipients-en.html
Lets hope that someone at the Status of Woman offices and those of the Governor General realize that next year marks the 40th year for this award and that something special will be created for the celebrations in 2018.
Back in 1992, after a year of advocacy, the efforts of 3 Victoria BC area women paid off with the 9 March 1992 press release issues by MP Mary Collins, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women ministry. They and thousands of supporters across the country called for the government to create a month to celebrate the importance of Canada's foremothers and their incredible deeds throughout our nation's history.
Kathryne Armstrong, a member of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Persons Award and many many other awards, certificates and the like over some 40 years of advocacy, served as the honourary Patron of the group of three. She and Lynne Gough, as chair, and Cathy Blazkow, and others later joining, sought out national support for the month. One started by Gough and calling originally only for a week of celebration and limited to the province of BC, but expanded by Armstrong, my late mother, to a month and nation wide.
The Collins press release noted the creation of the month of honour effective in October of that year, now 25 years ago. She advocated that it was to be a ..."time or recognition and celebration of women's contributions to our history as a nation and our people. Her speech writers of course did not think to add in the very release that the month's creation came about after a lengthy coordinated advocacy by Armstrong, Gough, Glaskow and others.
A month to honour women, yet the very proponents could not even be mentioned. HMMMM!
This snafu is not lost on that minister alone. It continues to this day. Go to the website of the Status of Women and look for the names of these three women and be prepared to look for a long time. I could not find any of them. Nor even the fact that we now celebrate the 25th yr of the very month of celebration.
The above site continues with the notice that we should...
I would ask those in that office how I can make my claim as above requested to "claim my place in history", for these three women, and, as further requested in the above notice, how I can ...make their mark also at that site.
Questions that really ought not to have to be asked 25 years later.
Enough for tonight,
See you next week, with an important story of a military woman I'll bet you have never heard of before.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving!
We need to give thanks to the Almighty who brings us the rains needed to feed the crops we eat daily. Rains needed to feed our trees that clean our air and shelter us from sweltering heat. Rains that give us our drinking water, provide us a means of transportation and shipping and a place for our children to go and play with the rest of the neighbourhood kids.
But in many parts of the world, recent down pours have also caused us loss of lives, property, and a way of life that will affect millions for the rest of their lives.
My last column ended with the rather flippant comment that I did not want to rain on the parade of a wonderful group of Ontario volunteers and supporters for their work. Incredible work that now quite rightly has become part of North America's heritage.
And so it should be!
This work, literally carved in granite, puts a new breath of life into the 150 year old fact that British North Americans numbered about 50,000 and probably more, fought and shed their blood, and in many cases their lives in the 4 year slaughter known as the US Civil War.
My blogs noted that the work done by so many, under the direction of the re-enactor group known as The Blues and Grays of Montreal were actions worthy of praise from all sides.
I did however note that this week I will be talking about some of the facts of the story that need clarification. However such should not take away from the massive efforts and the beautiful as well as important monument they created to the men and women of so many years past. Stories that most today do not remember, or worse yet probably never knew.
Setting the stage, a retired teacher involved in the efforts noted that the CW details were not well known and the hopes of the group were to obviously make them much more known. Another former teacher and now senior government official in a department that surely ought to have known much better, admitted that he did not know anything about the CW involvement.
From the massive web, newspaper, radio and probably tv coverage of the event, tens of thousands, if not considerably more learned of the Canadian involvement in the war. This is great. But problematic is the fact that in much of the media coverage, the statistics quoted and the verbiage used was flawed.
Old and outdated materials and opinions ought not to be the basis of research. But the press often takes little time to do their own homework, and thus their stories become the new story, twisted and wrong that it may be. When a group launches a project like that in Ontario, it is therefore incumbent on them to be very careful about the materials provided to those they know will be running with it.
As regular readers know, for more than 18 years I have been researching the Canadians and those connected to Canada that earned the American Medal of Honor. Actually my research is even older and dates back into late 1980's and early 1990's. Some of that work touched on numbers in total fighting for the cause on either the North or Southern side.
Had I simply rested on figures of the day, my number of MOH recipients coming back to a Canadian or one with connections would still be at 54, yet as of just two weeks ago they rose to 118. The numbers, details and facts change in some cases almost weekly, so to rely on old materials from 30 or more years ago is incredibly flawed.
In various forums, be it public talks, my association with many groups and individuals, the media and well over 400 stories in this space, my work has been recognized by many as THE source in North America, for MOH materials on the Canadians. Others have shared with me the belief that I have delved further into the research of the MOH from the Canadian prospective, than any other in either Canada or the US.
That said, I wish I had learned earlier of the work being done in Ontario. I would have been thrilled to have assisted the group in their work. My site is well known, yet they did not reach out to me. When I learned about a month ago of their efforts, I contacted them, but things were already poured in concrete, as the saying goes.
My concerns are with regards to the numbers of Canadians fighting, the numbers that rose to the rank of General, the numbers being awarded the Medal of Honor, the verbiage used in many cases and some blatant wrong details to boot.
Of concern is the wide spread erroneous information, and the issue of who does what to fix this. This blog will offer corrections, but much more is needed by others to follow up on this. After reading this you can do your bit by looking at the news coverage via the web, and passing on to those outlets what is said at this site.
To begin one story tells of a fellow named HIFFLING who earned a MOH. His name is HIGGINS and his fascinating story is told on this site. Most press coverage called the medal the CONGRESSIONAL Medal of Honor. There is no such thing. It is the MEDAL of Honor...period. Most repeatedly say the individual wins, or won or was given a medal of honor. Not so. None were GIVEN it, nor was there a single case of anyone WINNING it. These medals were awarded. Period.
Media coverage often quoted direct info from the Blues and Grays that the those fighting came from Ontario east. Not so. Many, including a few MOH recipients, had connections or came from all across the country.
Coverage also indicated that in CW days the medal had to be earned for bravery in front of the enemy. This is 100% wrong. Check my early blogs on the creation of the medal and the verbiage used back in late 1861 and early 1862. Read it carefully. It says that requirement was not the only qualifier.
Most of the media and others have quoted the fact that either four or five men rose to the rank of General while serving in the Civil War. With some 583 Generals serving for the North, it's not difficult to see that getting accurate figures re the Canadians is difficult.
Factoring in how the name is selected also can complicate matters. Do we limit these to just those born in Canada, or add those who at some point, be it before or after the war, lived in Canada? Do we consider those that had medals purged, be that action as illegal as it was and duly noted on this site in the past? Factor in also how recent is the research you base your numbers on?
One of the standard research tools relied on by many is the exhaustive research done over probably more than a decade by Tom Brooks from Ontario. Aided by a DC man by the name of Ed Milligan, and before the days of computers and email, they poured over archival records of the US government for OVER 3,500 DIFFERENT UNION REGIMENTS ETC. Their herculean task was to get names, dates and places of birth, units served in and other materials, where available for any with Canadian connections. From this work they identified 4 who became Generals. They wrote about this in the early 1990's. But that was over 30 years ago, and is thus now quite out of date. Many a year ago I had the privilege of being in contact with both men about their work. Both have sadly passed away since. It is unknown what happened to their massive cabinets full of information.
As of about 2 weeks ago my numbers of Canadian Generals reached NINE, and all born in Canada. When at 8 about a month ago, I spoke to the Ontario group, but they had moved too far forward on the project to amend that appearing on the memorial being created. One claiming only 5 Generals. The press stories on the September monument's unveiling widely quoted that there were only either 4 or five.
Moving on, the media widely circulated that there were only 29 Canadian CW Medal of Honor recipients born in Canada. Other using the same number saying they "came" from Canada, which is not the same as being born here. A few used the number 34. Of the standard, but wrong number of 29, two in fact were NOT born in Canada. One was from England and another was from France. But each should clearly be included in the Canadian numbers.
Dealing with this category we must again consider birth, relocating before or after the war, and purged medals.
My years of research, updated just weeks ago, have identified 118 recipients from or connected to Canada. Looking only at the Civil War numbers, there were 66 from that era. Not 29.
Of these most would discount 14 that had their names removed from the honor role as a result of the ILLEGAL purge. Being thus removed does not equate to the medals NOT BEING ISSUED. And from the 66 some may want to remove another 14 who were either in the country after birth or after the war. So if you chose to remove these 28, you still have another 38 born in Canada. That's about a third higher than the press would have you believe.
Moving on, but still with numbers, there is some debate about the number of Canadians who fought in the CW. I have seen numbers of between 33,000 and 64,000. Sir John A MacDonald himself quoted 40,000 while Nova Scotia's Joseph Howe had the number at 50,000.
Whatever the number, with some 250,000 British North Americans living in the US at the time, you can be assured the numbers were not insignificant. In fact one quote says that of all the nations involved in the war, (30 nations according to one source,) the Canadian contingent was the fourth largest.
Tom Brooks numbers were at 53,000 probably also giving consideration to the 1869 Gould study of about 53,500. A 1919 Grand Army of the Republic quote had the number at 64,000 but in 1920 a respected historian placed the number at 48,000. One of the Ontario groups had the number at "over 50,000." And the Blues and Grays web site has the number being estimated at 40,000 and elsewhere on same site as being "over 50,000." But the memorial says the numbers are at 40,000 plus. That's a drop of probably real numbers by about 25%. Most in the media carried the low number of about 40,000.
And finally the group's website and most if not all of the press quote the memorial unveiled as being the first national memorial representing those who went south. A few added the caveat..that it was the first SIGNIFICANT national memorial. The later I tend to agree with.
I would like to leave you with these images. Clearly they shows a memorial, though not significant, compared to the new Ontario one, but nevertheless a memorial... the first probably in the country to my knowledge, that gave tribute to the Canadians, it notes over 50,000 that served in the Civil War.
The South Western Ontario Civil War Round-table, possibly with assistance from the American Civil War Historical Society and others, unveiled this monument at Rockton Ontario's Westfield Heritage Center in August of 1998, predating the Cornwall Ontario monument by 19 years.
While I continue to salute the work done by the Blues and Grays of Montreal, facts, as someone once said.. are still "stubborn things."
See you next week.
Statistics tell us that during the 1861-65 US Civil War some 2.8 million service men and women served in the North's Union forces. During the war, and since, according to statistics, about 1,525 Medals of Honor where awarded to these men... and one woman.
But what these numbers do not include is about 900 medals that were purged in 1916-17. Though illegal, as oft noted in this space, at least 350 (of the 900) need to be really added to the above, making the totals closer to 1,900 medals for Civil War actions.
Ignoring the purged medals in the calculations, do not equate to their never being awarded. Regardless of the prevalent numbers found on the net, many by folks who ought to finally step forth and acknowledge this.
These numbers would mean about 475 medals per year of fighting were awarded.
Moving forward to the US's War in Afghanistan, now the nation's longest lasting war ever, is in its 16th year and only 16 Medals of Honor have being awarded. That's one a per year, versus the Civil war rate of 475 per year.
Granted, the criteria of today is much more stringent, as it should be. But with the 1917 Purge, and the creation of a pyramid of about 80 other medals for bravery that culminate with the highest of course being the MOH, something seems to be very wrong in the way heroism is being recognized in the US of A.
Now onto another matter, but still with Afghanistan and closer to home. As a result of the work I have been doing in this space and elsewhere, I had the incredible privilege of be invited and attending one of the most emotional ceremonies of recent memory.
Here in Victoria yesterday some thousand or more serving members of the Canadian Forces, our Reserves and Cadets, veterans, families and loved ones representing some of the 163 Canadians who lost their lives in aid of Afghanistan, politicians, the clergy and more attended, with one thing in mind.
That being the culmination of the creation and unveiling of the first ever monument in Canada to honor our 40,000 plus, in or out of uniform, who served, and those who paid the ultimate price for the freedoms we all enjoy.
I will bring you a column on this in the weeks to come, but in the mean time check the web for many stories of the event and please also visit the Greater Victoria Afghanistan Memorial Project's web site for great background information at ... https://vicafghanistanmemorial.ca/ and the site https://www.facebook.com/victoriabcbuzz/ to see an actual video of the 90 minute ceremony.
If you are anything like me, it will bring tears to your eyes as you feel the emotional pain of the families of the 163 heroes. You cannot help but notice the twitching as some of the vets struggled to stand..or sit.. and also deal with their daily physical pain caused from service in Afghanistan and perhaps elsewhere. Yet they still stand ... and sit as tall as possible to show their pride in services given and the price others paid for mankind.
More on this in a later blog, but now I return to last week's subject of another war and time.
Picking up on that blog, we now travel just short of 5,000 km east from Victoria and should arrive at or near Cornwall Ontario, some 75 km south of the midway between Ottawa and Montreal.
From Ontario eastward came the bulk of more than 53,000 British North Americans who fought in the US Civil War. Some of these were actually living in the US and yet more even came from Western Canada all the way out to the west coast of the country, though most may not know this.
From Ontario east over the years there have been many Civil War buffs who, like tens of thousands in the US have at one time or another been involved in what has become known as re-enactors who relive the battles and military lives of many a regiment, both Northern and Southern.
Many a father fought against son, brother against brother. Those actually lost to CW battle deaths, injury and disease would eclipse those lost in all American wars up until the days of Vietnam. The job (hobby) of the re-enactor is to portray those stories and keep alive the great heroism and heritage of these men and women. Stories that unfortunately most have no knowledge or have completely forgotten about.
One of these re-enactor groups is the Montreal based Grays and Blues (G's and B's,) who don't pick sides or play politics on who was right or wrong. They represent the men and the battles. And on 16 September, they represented a very special niche of participants. Those from British North America.
And they did this in a very big way. One gathering much notice in the press and thus, taking incredible strides to remind the public of this forgotten part of our past. In so doing each and every one of them, and their hundreds of supporters have all now become part of the history of both Canada and the United States. Their footprint... cast in black and grey granite... will be a show place and tourism stop for many a decade to come, for Canadians, Americans and others from around the world.
And so it should be!
Among those who played a special role in the event, about to be revealed, is Mr. Stewart Irvine, shown below at front left, and who is the Vice President of the G's and B's of Montreal. Next to him is Robert McLachlan, the association's President.
True to their name Irvine is dressed as a Sergeant and wearing the Blue uniform of a Northern unit while McLachlan is dressed in the uniform of gray, representing a Southern Confederacy Colonel.
The B's and G's have been around for about 12 years. Several years ago Irvine suggested that it was time the group considered playing a role in the creation of a monument honouring the massive Canadian involvement in the Civil War and to have it ready for unveiling during our 150th year of celebration as a country.
Soon the idea gained acceptance and over about three years designs were selected, costs evaluated, funding programs put in place, a location selected and no doubt many were running in all directions to do their bit to see the project come to fruition.
Here is the artist's rendition of the gorgeous memorial planned. The center obelisk would stand 12 feet high. It would note that there were 40,000 plus that went south to join the war effort. On the left would be a 2 ft. by 7 ft. memorial that lists major donors. On the right, and of same size, would be listed the 29 Medal of Honor recipients, the names of four Canadian Generals serving in the war and a few other more prominent Canadians also who served. All would be made from black granite. Two benches would allow for seating to view the 3 memorials while gray Granite bricks containing names of other donors or representing one who a donor wished to honor, would line the pathways you see coming up to the obelisk from the center, left and right.
According to the association, this would be the only national memorial to the Canadians. A memorial to honour 40,000 plus, when at the very time of the war, those serving in the military within the Canada of the day, only themselves numbered about 40,000. While not an official delegation from Canada, the numbers reflect the fact that after the numbers involved in WWl and WWll, those of Civil War days was third in number from Canada heading off to war, be they official or otherwise. And one must ask..how many memorials do we have across the country for those serving in both World Wars?
In 2013 the association finally selected a site for the memorial, one close to the border, yet with easy access and appropriate to the cause. The proposal was well embraced by Long Sault Ontario's Lost Villages Historic Society and the Lost Villages Museum complex at Ault Park. With a dozen buildings dedicated to the history of the area, what better location and clientele could there be?
This site is dedicated to the history of 9 communities that disappeared when the area needed to be flooded to make way for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway. One of the sites lost to history included the farm owned by a fellow named John Crysler. While having nothing to do with the auto maker, he owned, lived and farmed on the land that the Battle of Crysler's Farm on November 11 1813 was fought. A battle that should also be given thought to, annually on November 11th.
Many groups and individuals came forth to assist with the work to be done. In the above April 2017 group photo, Jim Brownell sits on Robert McLachlan's right. As President of the Lost Villages Historical Society it is believed he was one of the three to sign an agreement to go ahead with the creation and mounting of the memorial. Two over from him, and with pen in hand is Andrew Martel of Martel and Sons Inc, who I believe actually made the memorials, and also signs the agreement to do so.
Here we see McLachlan at the site about a year ago. Presumably he was giving a talk about the ceremony in the works and possibly seeking further public support for the memorial.
On 16 September the Blues and Greys of Montreal were joined by the above mentioned groups, no doubt local, provincial and federal politicians, possibly attendance from the US, veterans, the local Sea Cadets, members of the some local and probably provincial and federal politicians and bureaucrats, members of the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Highlanders and others in a crowd of some 250 to witness history taking place.
Here we see the proud Sea Cadets with their Colours, the Canadian flag, the US and also the Confederate Stars and Bars of CW days.
Here we see the unveiling of the wonderful and historic memorial's. Note the Flag poles to rear also flying both the Canadian and American flags. A site not often seen within Canada.
Though difficult to read, at the top it gives the number of Canadians that went south being at 40,000 plus. To these need to be added a minimum of another 10,000 and probably more.
Again not a good quality image, but nevertheless, it shows over 2 dozen very happy, and quite rightly proud to be standing before this new memorial in honour of so many well over 150 years ago. Thousands are now looking down on them and thanking them, and all those who aided them in creating this memorial destined to stand for decades and hopefully more.
Decades that will hopefully continue to keep these men's and women's stories alive. The above re-enactors, and all those not in the picture, that played a role in this work deserve a very warm thanks from the people of Canada and the US for what they have done. They have created what could have been created in the years and decades before, but no one came to the plate.
Two things before I sign off.
First, please visit the site at... https://www.gofundme.com/honour-canadians ... to see a short but very good video of the work done by the Grays and Blues of Montreal.
While not wishing to rain of the G's and B's parade tonight, I do want to mention that they and I are in disagreement about some of the numbers mentioned above. I will bring brief note to that effect next week, but in the mean time please look them up on the net and give them a big hug via the email. They deserve it.