Veterans recognized during special ceremony
John Bedard, a WWII veteran, received a certificate from the organization SerViCe & Sacrifice presented by local MPP Lou Rinaldi on Wednesday. Bedard lives at Palisade Gardens in Cobourg and told the MPP he was a former marine. He was just one of many honoured. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today
The late Michelle Knight Mendes of Grafton who died in Afghanistan was honoured along with other veterans and civilians who died in Afghanistan during a special SerViCe & Sacrifice ceremony held at a Cobourg seniors’ residence Wednesday afternoon.
Mendes’ parents were in the audience as the organization’s co-founder, Kerri Tadeu, explained how she had not understood the enormous sacrifice service men and women made until her own friend died abroad in a war zone.
“Knowing better, you can start doing better,” Tadeu told an overflow audience gathering at Palisade Gardens located on Chapel Street.
For her, that “doing” was co-founding SerViCe & Sacrifice with master retired veteran Collin Fitzgerald and “adopting” the section of Highway 401 named Highway of Heroes. The pair of them worked for over three weeks early in the morning to clean the on and off ramps of Highway 401 between Trenton and Toronto, the area designated by the government to recognize the sacrifices made by veterans.
The organization has also undertaken to recognize veterans who are living in seniors’ residences and nursing homes like Palisade, Tadeu said.
Northumberland-Quinte West MPP Lou Rinaldi participated in handing out certificates with Fitzgerald to veterans in the crowd which included John Bedard who was in the marines in WWII and who dressed all in Canadian red for the special presentation.
Fitzgerald was the centre of attention during the event when he thanked those who have served their country ensuring Canada’s freedom and the very air we breathe.