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New bench honours Canada’s veterans

The bench aims to increase comfort for local veterans while they sit through Remembrance Day ceremonies.

There’s a new bench with a special meaning at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bradford West Gwillimbury.

Made in England, the metal veterans bench features the poppy, the legion’s crest, the Canadian flag, and the silhouette of Canadian soldiers in combat.

The bench was formally unveiled June 8 at the Back Street legion outside the front doors and facing the cenotaph that honours fallen veterans. G. Michael Comeau, a 22-year veteran of Canadian Peacekeeping missions, and Bert Hogg, World War II veteran, did the honours.

They were joined by veteran service officer George Neilson in front of a crowd that included legion members and their families, and several members of BWG council.

“There are many Remembrance Days that I’ve been at, that we’ve had Comrade Bert and Comrade Mike, and set up chairs for them — and then watched the chairs sink into the grass,” said legion branch president Mike Giovanetti. “We needed to do something. We needed to increase the comfort for our veterans, so we purchased the bench. The bench represents our veterans.”

“It’s a wonderful project. It’ll benefit people in the future, not just veterans,” said Comeau.

His military career included 22 years in the Canadian Forces, a stint as a transit officer, and his role as a volunteer with ICROSS Canada, bringing medical supplies to Africa and other countries.

“We appreciate you all being here on our behalf,” added Hogg. “You’ve mentioned it’s for veterans — no, it’s for everybody.”

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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