By Jerry Meadows
Royal Canadian Legion Br. 71
This year we celebrate a number of milestones in Canada’s history.
One hundred and fifty years ago on May 23, 1873, the North-West Mounted Police were created by an Act of Parliament. In 1904 King Edward VII awarded the title ‘Royal’ and they became the Royal North-West Mounted Police. In 1920, legislation was passed by the Borden government to change the name to Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Royal North-West Mounted Police and the Dominion Police were joined.
The new Royal Canadian Mounted Police were assigned federal policing in all of Canada. Today the RCMP have 658 detachments throughout the country.
Eighty years ago saw more than 93,000 Canadians serve in the Italian campaign during the Second World War. Nearly 6,000 died.
We also celebrate 75 years of peacekeeping duties around the world. Fifty years ago we were peacekeepers in Vietnam. More than 125,000 Canadian Armed Forces members and more than 4,000 RCMP and other police force members have served as peacekeepers. One hundred and thirty died.
This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean conflict. Over 26,000 Canadians served with more than 500 losing their lives.
And this year we saw the beginning of an era – with the Coronation of King Charles II.
It is our duty to remember the fallen and the sacrifices they made. Remembrance Day began 105 years ago in 1918 when the First World War World ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
We must remember. Lest we forget. Lest we forget.