A huge crowd turned out in Maryfield Friday, November 5 for the unveiling of signs in honor of local veterans.
The Maryfield Lions Club arranged the sign project and unveiling, to honor veterans of surrounding communities.
Signs honoring veterans are displayed on streetlights in Maryfield and Fairlight. Families, council members and other people from the community attended the unveiling Friday.
Member of parliament for Souris-Moose Mountain Dr. Robert Kitchen was present, along with Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk and Cannington MLA Daryl Harrison.
“I’d like to thank the Maryfield and District Lions Club for this veterans project. It's great to see these signs along the street and I went earlier this morning to look at Fairlight, to see and read all the names out there," MP Kitchen said.
“It’s something we need to recognize because we have the freedom we have here today thanks to these people. These people locally who gave their lives, in some cases to give us that freedom, and it is greatly appreciated. This project is a representation of everyone who fought for us and served Canada, so thank you to everyone for coming out” Kitchen added.
MLA Harrison spoke at the event as well.
“The crowd today was tremendous. As I was coming down from the highway and pulled up on Main Street , the hairs start to stand up on the back of your neck and the tears start to dwell on your eyes, it’s a tremendous way to honour our veterans,” said Harrison.
As well, MLA Bonk commented about his appreciation for the event.
“I’m very honored and humble to be here. The sacrifice that our young men and women made for us, in a small town 70 people alone in this community sacrificed their lives for us,” Bonk said.
“We want to ensure that they are recognized and remembered. Today I would like to welcome all of our veterans,” said Rob Hill of the Maryfield Lions.
Veteran Jim Clark and soldier Crystal Veysey were present. Veysey grew up in Maryfield and came to town on Friday to attend the unveiling.
In tears, Veysey said a few words.
“It’s always a privilege and honor to come home and even more so on a day where we are honoring the veterans who sacrificed so much, so that I can live my dream and have the honor of serving my country at this time. Thank you so much.”
Hill spoke about the sacrifices veterans made at the time of war.
“Things were different in the years veterans served and I quote from the book ‘Guilty’ by David Baldacci. ‘They didn’t have the term PTSD back then but what those boys saw and did, nothing prepared them for it. It could change them forever and not in a good way. The soldiers who fought the wars never talked about what they saw or did, they were expected to go back to their civilian lives and carry on like the hell of war, never happened. They were supposed to hit the reset button and they did with very degrees of success or failure.’”
“This has been an exciting and rewarding project. I’m pleased that Maryfield lands took the lead. Thank you to the family and friends that made sure this project was a success by putting forward the names of 70 veterans we honor today.”
Hill said a lot of hours and dedication were put into the project.
“I probably put 500 hours into this. I was emailing the families of these veterans all the time getting all the information we needed, then putting it all together and getting the pictures and sending them off to Laura Lowe who put it all together, who did the presentations for what the posters are going to look like. She’s got a lot of hours in at it. Clint Radke, our local welder and his crew, fabricated the frames for it.”
The signs acknowledging the veterans were hung up in Maryfield and Fairlight. There are 58 in Maryfield and 12 in Fairlight.
Hill said the Lions Club will continue to recognize veterans by collecting names that can possibly be added for next year’s list.
“We’re done the project for this year but I’ve let everybody know that if you have somebody then we’ll continue for the next couple or three years trying to get as many as we can up.”
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator