As we mark Remembrance Day this year, Hamilton's veterans are being well served by our municipal government. The Veterans Committee is seeing a passing of the torch to younger veterans, is being heard by municipal politicians, and the public is taking better note of the needs of both our younger and older veterans.
Hamilton's annual remembrance services are organized by the Royal Canadian Legion, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, and other community organizations. The service in Hamilton's Central Business District (Downtown) is organized by the Hamilton Veterans Committee.
Hamilton's Veterans Committee is the only municipal veterans committee remaining in Canada.
This term of the committee, we are seeing the passing of the torch, as Second World War veterans are fewer due to age, the committee is now comprised of members who served in United Nations peacekeeping, NATO missions, domestically, and in Afghanistan.
This evening, at 294 James Street North, a member of the Veterans Committee is organizing Art Crawl Remembers.
The torch is being passed.
Hamilton gives free parking to veterans, free exemptions to Veteran's Halls, and continues to fund the only municipal Veterans Committee.
For the limited ability of municipalities to address veterans issues, Hamilton is doing a very good job.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Each year as Remembrance Day passes, these words carry more meaning for me. I think of those who I knew who died serving in Afghanistan, and they are forever frozen in time as the young men they were. We will remember them.
I think of their families and loved ones, knowing that it does not get easier each year. How when friends pay tribute to them, they can see in us what they've lost - their loved one will not have children, they will not grow out, they died so we may enjoy this pleasures of a full life.
We have another generation of veterans to carry the torch, and carrying the torch they are.