There was an interesting addition to this year’s Remembrance Day parade that travelled along Main Street Markham to the cenotaph at the corner of Highway 48 and Highway 7.For the first time, Veterans’ Memorial Banners lined Main Street Markham in honour of our heroes.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Members of the Markham District Veterans Association officially unveiled the banners on November 8. Each banner features a local veteran, including both former and active service members.
“Markham has a proud history of those who answer the call of duty and selflessly serve. To the honoured veterans who are still with us, we say thank you. To those we have lost, we will remember them,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “Our main streets tell us who we are, and how the past has shaped us. Now, as a community, we can continue to show our deep admiration, respect and gratitude, while displaying our sense of pride.”
Forty banners tell the stories of Markham veterans, including 97 year-old Stan Hems, who landed on Juno Beach with the Third Canadian Infantry Division. He was a dispatch rider who ferried critical dispatches from the ever-moving front lines to and from field commanders to battalion, brigade and divisional headquarters. Jack Paley, 97 years old, was a member of the elite British Special Air Service, who parachuted behind enemy lines to conduct sabotage on logistical supply, communications, transportation, and command and control systems. Both Markham men were honoured with France’s highest military honour – the rank of “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur.”
Each banner includes a veteran’s photograph, their Allied flag, their service position and era of service, and the banner sponsors.