On June 9, the City of Markham unveiled the revitalized Veterans Square and Cenotaph, in historic Markham Village, to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada’s freedom.
“In Markham, we believe in preserving our heritage and paying tribute to the brave men and women who selflessly serve, many paying the ultimate price, while ensuring future generations will never forget,” said Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We owe a great deal of gratitude to our veterans and now, as a community, we can continue to show our deep appreciation and respect in a welcoming and inclusive space created for peace, reflection and education.”
The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program provided $950,000 for the transformation of the civic space into a vibrant, multi-functional site with a rehabilitated cenotaph and adjoining Veterans Square.
“It is vital that our community has a place where we can gather together to honour the sacrifices of our veterans, not only on Remembrance Day, but each and every day,” said Jane Philpott, Markham-Stouffville MP. “This monument is an important place of remembrance, reflection and thanks for those who have served Canada.”
“We humbly honour those who served and continue to serve and through their selfless dedication, place themselves in harm’s way to protect our communities, our country and our way of life,” said Stu Kellock, of the Markham District Veterans Association. “It has been a privilege to be part of the evolution of Veterans Square and I wish for everyone to take the time to visit, contemplate, be inspired and remember – that the freedoms we enjoy today are not without cost.”
A key piece of the project was to preserve the original cenotaph and the war memorial inside Markham Village Public Library.
Main photo: Stan Hems bows his head, among a group of Markham’s war veterans, during the dedication ceremony.
Inset photo: More than 300 gathered at the Veterans Square and Cenotaph dedication on June 9. City of Markham photos