Province marks Remebrance Day with trio of initiatives

(Herald file photo)

In addition to elected officials’ plans to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies across the province, the Government of Saskatchewan has been preparing to remember those who gave their lives with a trio of initiatives.

The third of those initiatives was announced Friday. Premier Scott Moe revealed the province will be creating a new Legion and ANAVETS Support Program that will provide funding grants to Royal Canadian Legion branches and Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans (ANAVETS) units in Saskatchewan. According to a press release, the grant program will assist with the work of supporting veterans and keeping the memory of the nation’s fallen heroes.

“Past and present members of the Canadian Forces have taken it upon themselves to safeguard our freedoms and give back greatly to their communities,” Moe said in a press release.

“Now it’s our turn to support our veterans who have served and put everything on the line.”

The $100,000 support program will be implemented as part of the 2019-20 budget. The province intends to work with the Legion and ANAVETS to determine where the funding will have the most impact. Details on the application process will be released in the coming months.

“We want to help legions so veterans, their families and community members have access to facilities for the programming, activities, events and meetings they host,” Parks, Culture, and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said in a press release.

Their dedication to providing services for veterans is invaluable to our communities.”

Saskatchewan soldier honoured through GeoMemorial program

Thursday, the province announced that a coulee along Pipestone Creek, south of the Town of Whitewood, had been named after Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens, a fallen Canadian soldier of the First World War from Saskatchewan.

“Through the GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program, the Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the naming of Jordens Coulee,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said in a press release.

“Jordens Coulee will honour the legacy of Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens, who left our province to serve and ultimately, sacrificed his life for our freedom.”

Jordens was born in Lebret on Jan. 16, 1896. He was a farmer near Whitewood when he enlisted in 1915. He served with the 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry — Saskatchewan Regiment, and was killed in action on August 21, 1917, at the age of 21.

His body was never found. His likely remains were interred on the battlefield with more than 11,000 fallen Canadians, and are remembered with honour on the Vimy Memorial at Arras, Pas De Calais, France.

“We know that Wilfred Jordens will rest eternally in the soil of Europe alongside the other Canadians with whom he so gallantly fought,” nephew and nominator Thomas Jordens Sr. said.

“Through the GeoMemorial program, the official naming of this coulee enables the story of Wilfred’s service and sacrifice to live on in the area of Saskatchewan he called home.”

Province honours those awarded Victoria Cross

On Wednesday, Moe, veterans and members of the province’s public service gathered in the rotunda of the Legislative Building to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War. As a part of the services, a Wall of honour recognizing Saskatchewan’s 15 recipients of the Victoria Cross was displayed.

The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry in the presence of the enemy. One of the first Victoria Cross recipients, George Mullin, returned from the First World War and went on to become the Saskatchewan Legislature’s Sergeant-at-Arms in 1934.

“One hundred years ago, Saskatchewan men and women sacrificed their lives to fight for peace and freedom in the First World War,” Moe said in a press release.

“It is through remembrance that their stories of bravery live on through us. As we mark a century of remembrance, may we never forget those who have fallen.”

The Wall of Honour will move to the Cumberland Gallery, and be on display until Dec. 2. It will then become a permanent display in Room 218 of the Legislative Building.

Saskatchewan also has an online commemoration of those from the province who lost their lives in war. The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial features more than 11,000 casualties and their stories. The website is managed by the Saskatchewan War Memorial Committee and accompanies the physical war memorial located west of the Legislative Building. It can be accessed at www.svwm.ca.

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