05 November 2006

Remembering & the end of an era

UPDATE: NDP trying to take credit for this idea?

VICTORIA (CP) - A B.C. politician is looking for public help to promote the idea of a state funeral when Canada's last veteran of the First World War dies. New Democrat MLA Mike Farnworth says last Remembrance Day there were six surviving veterans, but this year just three remain - two aged 106 and one who's 105.

Remembrance Day is approaching.

There are a couple of reasons why Remembrance Day this year is especially notable. One, of course, is our soldiers who are fighting and in some cases, dying, in Afghanistan.

The second reason is that there are now only three Canadian veterans of the First World War left alive. Sadly, they are old enough that this will likely be their last Remembrance Day.

By clicking on the names of these men below, you can see their attestment papers, the document they put their signatures to, when they signed up.

They are Lloyd Clemett and John Babcock, both 106 years of age and Percy Wilson, who is a year younger.

The Dominion Institute has set up an online petition asking that the last surviving veteran of the Great War be given a state funeral. You can click on the link below to sign the petition.
Canada's Last Great War Veteran

"We the undersigned feel enormous gratitude for the sacrifice made by all the Canadian Armed Forces through the ages in defence of this country and its values; acknowledge the very special nature of the sacrifice made by those who fought in the First World War in appalling conditions and with terrible loss of life; note that only three First World War veterans remain, and urge the Prime Minister that their sacrifice, and all of those they served with under arms from 1914-1918, be celebrated by offering a state funeral to the family of the last veteran of the First World War resident in Canada."
That seems fitting and proper to me.

LAST WORD: As Mark Steyn says, "Demographics is everything"
Mr. Griffiths said he was worried that Canadians are losing not only their history, but their social solidarity, the shared heritage that shaped Canada into the country it is today.

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