Colonel Louis Lapointe Commander 4th Canadian Division Support Group
Chief Warrant Officer Tom Verner Formation Sergeant Major 4th Canadian Division Support Group
Veterans’ Week Message from the Commander and Formation Sergeant Major 4th Canadian Division Support Group
Posted on Thursday, November 9, 2017
Each year on the 11th day of the 11th month and on the 11th hour, Canadians gather in sombre silence to reflect. We remember the thousands of Canadian soldiers, sailors, aircrew and merchant seamen who died in two World Wars. We remember the more than 500 soldiers who died while serving in Korea. We remember the more than 100 soldiers who died on peace support missions since 1945 and we remember the 158 soldiers and two civilians who have died in recent years in Afghanistan.
To mark the 150th Anniversary of Canada, Garrison Petawawa has focused on two key battles that can be considered fixed points in our Nation’s history; The Battle of Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. On April 19th this year the Garrison organized a parade and celebration recognizing the Battle of Vimy Ridge and its impact on Canada’s Past, Present and Future. The parade and ceremony took place in the Town of Petawawa and involved participation from Garrison Petawawa serving military members, Veterans and members from the local Cadet Corps. To mark this occasion two identical plaques were made and are located on the Garrison and in the Town of Petawawa.
As a way to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Passchendaele this year we have dedicated our annual Business Lunch to the legacy of The Battle of Passchendaele. Community business owners were invited to attend a lunch at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess on November 9th where we had the opportunity to provide an update on the Garrison’s key activities for the coming year. The event included a lunch intended to emulate the type of meal soldiers in the trenches would have been given while serving in the trenches in times of war. The 120 guests were provided a meal that consisted of stew and biscuits and the stew was served in canteen mugs. The Mess was also decorated with Wartime artifacts from the Garrison Petawawa museum.
The Battle of Passchendaele can be considered one of Canada’s most brutal battles. The battle raged in Belgium in the summer and fall of 1917. The Canadian Corps joined the fighting there in October and would overcome almost unimaginable hardships to triumph on a brutal and muddy battlefield. The Canadian victory at Passchendaele was truly impressive and indeed gained our country a new respect on the international stage.
As we reflect on this week’s Remembrance Day activities I know that at Garrison Petawawa we know all too well how significant this week is and we will embrace it with the same courage, commitment and honour we always have. We reach out this week in remembrance of three special groups. First, we reflect on our wounded and injured as they continue their struggle and recovery. For this we honour them. Second, we would like to recognize our families. When a Canadian gives the ultimate sacrifice in combat or because of combat, the family experiences the ultimate sorrow. Our fallen will not be forgotten. Thirdly, we can not forget you, who look for ways to understand and embrace the sacrifice of our veterans.