Today things are better, but we still need some more long flag poles. And we deserve them. An hour on the web will give you a thousand reasons why we no longer need to look down, not that we ever did mind you.
Today... and for the past 6 months, the Right Honorable David Johnston and others, and with incredible support from the Taylor Family Foundation are taking an exhibit about the Canadian awards programs across the country. These medals and awards celebrate the women, men and youth of Canada whose achievements, courage and dedication to service, exemplify the heart and soul of our nation.
For years I have read about similar programs in the US where various entities had sponsored massive mobile exhibits of their Medal of Honor and taken these out to the people from coast to coast and no doubt to military bases probably all around the world.
Well, now we are coming on board. And it's got to be the best thing since sliced bread for so many folks from all walks of life to see.
Stand aside cause here it comes....
The organizers of the display have determined that many Canadians have relatively quick access to information on the net. Yet some of those same folks are from areas away from the metro urban centers of Canada and cannot readily get to the big cities and towns and their libraries and museums and research facilities. So they decided that for the most part, the TWO YEAR LONG trip across the country and back ought to focus on the smaller communities, and even many of the smaller children's schools.
In late July of last year they started their engine and have not looked back since. In BC alone they had planned on visiting 22 centers, yet by the time they arrived in Duncan BC a few days back they had hit about 30. And from July they have had well over 15,000 visitors with about half being schools up to grade 8.
The exhibit was not well advertised in the metro area and I first heard of it AFTER it had left and moved on to Duncan, from words passed on by two fellow members of the Victoria Genealogical Society. Days before it was here in Victoria and on display at the Government House where the crew of three... Anthony, Katie and Francois greeted some 500 visitors and also had the privilege of meeting our own Lt Governor, the Honorable Judith Guichon. It is my understanding that some also had the amazing view of poor frustrated Anthony who must have cursed the gates and narrow drive he had to negotiate the massive truck through before setting up shop that day.
As I arrived at the Kindergarten to grade 7 school of about 250 students in Duncan, I saw the van parked all set up and ready to go... but not for another 2 hours. On the side are some wonderful graphics. Above and to the right is the Queen's Jubilee Medal, beside it is the Order of Canada and of the highest order... that of a Companion, so indicated by the red maple leaf in its centre. If this were gold, the medal would be for the 2nd level... that of an officer of the order. The third, or lowest is that of an ordinary member and the maple leaf is bronze in colour. In mid July of 2009 there were over 3,200 recipients of this order. Finally depicted is the new Canadian version of the Victoria Cross. Some maple leafs are then scattered about and then the hands of possibly the Governor General pinning an award on someone's chest.
One side of the truck has a duplicate image of the other, except that it is in the official 2nd language as shown above. On the right you can see one side of the van expanded out. The other side does the same and thus allows for well over 1000 feet of display area. The cab of course is at the far right and the back of the van is actually the entry area.
On Wednesday next, I share with you the great exhibits inside.
see you then