Monument honours peacekeepers
The province has a new monument to remember year-round the sacrifice of Canada's peacekeepers of the past, present and future.
A memorial cairn made up of three stone pillars was unveiled at a ceremony with full military honours yesterday in Memorial Park. The pillars range in height from 2.4 to 3.6 metres tall and are each engraved with a single word: past, present and future. Today is Peacekeeping Day in Manitoba.
"More than 150,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping roles around the world, bringing a shred of hope to hundreds of thousands of people," retired Lt.Gen. Ray Crabbe told the crowd of about 250 gathered at the site at the north end of Memorial Park. The former deputy chief of defence staff for Canada's military has served on peacekeeping missions in Cyprus, Bosnia and Croatia.
The memorial cairn was erected by the Lt.Gen. Ray Crabbe chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping.
The land for the cairn was donated by the province. The memorial was funded by the City of Winnipeg, Army, Navy and Air Force veterans associations, the Royal Canadian Legion, War Amps of Canada, Jewish War Veterans Association and other military groups and private citizens.
"I think they've done a good job," said Carol Gillis, whose husband, John, is a Korean War veteran. "It was necessary for (the peacekeepers) to be recognized."
"I think it could've been taller," said Linda Burndorfer, a passerby who said she's proud of the role Canada's peacekeepers play around the world.
"These are individuals a whole lot braver than I am. It's a very good cause, keeping the peace." The United Nations was founded in 1945. In response to a Canadian proposal, the UN Emergency Force was created in 1957 to help member nations keep the peace. So far, 154 Canadian peacekeepers have been killed during missions around the world, from Afghanistan to Haiti.
Winnipeg Free Press August 9, 2004
SOME NEWS STORIES ON THE CAIRN
The Cairn was dedicated on August 8, 2004 to our Peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the service of our country since the signing of the United Nations Charter on the 24 October 1945. It is located north of the Women’s Tri-Service Monument on Memorial Boulevard and faces north toward Portage Avenue. The three pillars of strength represent the Army, Navy, Air Force and most recently our RCMP. They also represent our PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE and we dedicate this Cairn to all our Canadian Peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the Service of Peace.
The centre pillar is 12’ tall with a 45 degree bevelled top to show the United Nations medal engraved into the stone. The Word "PRESENT" is engraved into the pillar vertically. The pillar to the left is 10’ tall, has the same degree bevel showing the Peacekeeping Medal and the word "PAST" engraved vertically into the front of the pillar. The pillar to the right is 8’ tall with the same bevel as the others and will show the Peacekeeping Medal on the top with the word "FUTURE" engraved vertically into the front. The total weight of the Cairn is approximately 33,000 Lbs.
Manitoba has declared the 9th of August as Peacekeeping Day and we celebrate it on the closest Sunday to that date. Therefore the unveiling and dedication of the Cairn took place on Memorial Boulevard at 1:00 PM on Sunday, 8th of August, 2004. Representatives from our Military, the RCMP, ANAVETS, Royal Canadian Legions, War Amputations of Canada, Hong Kong Veterans, Korea Veterans, Air Force Association, Jewish War Veterans Association and many other Associations in our Province were in attendance to honour our Canadian Peacekeepers. There was also had a crowd of over 300 spectators who came out to watch. Upon completion of the unveiling we returned to Unit 283 ANAVETS for refreshments and Lunch. There were over 250 that returned for the comradeship for the afternoon.
We would like to thank everyone for your support and assistance in obtaining funding for a Cairn. We would also like to thank the local media for their excellent coverage from the start right up to the dedication service.
They kept the peace, long before UN was born
NORM Van Tassel didn't wear a blue beret when he was stationed in Korea in the 1950s, but he was a peacekeeper nonetheless.
It was 1954 and a ceasefire had been declared between North and South Korea, two countries that had been engaged in a `police action' from 1950 to '53. Van Tassel and other Canadian soldiers were there as part of a United Nations force designed to ensure peace and stability between the two sides, who are divided by the 38th parallel. They were quite literally keepers of the peace, but without the recognizable accoutrements of today's peacekeepers.
"(Peacekeepers) didn't start wearing blue and driving white jeeps until 1956 in Egypt and Cyprus and places like that," the veteran explains.
Today, the 69-year-old feels good about his involvement in Korea and feels that his efforts, and the efforts of those who lost their lives, made a difference. "I remember something that one of my Korean friends said when they were honouring the Korean veterans at one of our get-togethers. He said, 'We are here in Canada because you Canadians were their (in Korea)," says Van Tassel, who is past-president of the LGen RR Crabbe Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, as well as a long-time active member of the Korean Veterans Association.
Van Tassel's work didn't end after he left Korea in 1955, or after he retired from the military in the early 1960s. Since that time he has been active in fostering recognition for the efforts of Canadian soldiers and peacekeepers.
In 1998, while serving as president of Unit 17 of the Korea Veterans Association, Van Tassel chaired a committee that raised funds for the erection of a cairn in Brookside Cemetery to honour the 37 Manitoba servicemen who lost their lives in Korea from 1950 to 1955 and the 17 servicemen who were killed accidentally while travelling from Camp Shilo, Mb. to Korea in 1950.
Van Tassel also successfully lobbied the Manitoba government to have July 27 declared as Korea Veterans Day and Aug. 9 as Peacekeeping Day, one of the first Canadian provinces to do so.
Van Tassel's most recent project was the erection of a cairn to honour the many Canadian peacekeepers killed in the line of duty. Armed with previous experience and contacts from the Brookside cairn project, Van Tassel says support for the endeavour came relatively easily. The cairn was officially unveiled on Aug. 8 to a crowd of approximately 300 people at its location in Memorial Park, at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Osborne Street.
"It was terrific," Van Tassel says of the event. "General (Ray) Crabbe gave the opening address and we had representatives from all three levels of government and all the veterans associations out."
Winnipeg Free Press August 18, 2004 --- by Michael Marshall
New cairn in park commemorates peacekeepers who made ultimate sacrifice
A cairn at Memorial Park has been unveiled to honour Canadians who have died on United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world.
The memorial cairn consists of three stone pillars, ranging from eight to 12 feet tall representing the strength of the Army, Navy, Air Force and RCMP. Each pillar is engraved with a single word - past, present and future - to signify the service and sacrifice of Canadian peacekeepers.
"Canada was a founder of the UN peacekeeping force and thousands of our soldiers have served with distinction in countries in conflict around the world," said Manitoba Transportation and Government Services Minister Ron Lemieux. "Sadly, in meeting this great international obligation, many Canadians have made the highest sacrifice in the name of peace and this cairn is a tribute to their legacy. "
The memorial is an initiative of the Lt.-Gen. R.R. Crabbe Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and is funded by the City of Winnipeg, Army, Navy and Air Force veterans associations, Royal Canadian Legion, War Amps of Canada, Jewish War Veterans Association, other military associations and private citizens. It is installed on land provided by the province at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Osborne Street North.
"It is a striking tribute to the memory of Canadians who have served and sacrificed on behalf of this country and our commitment to the peacekeeping role of the United Nations," said Crabbe.
The United Nations was founded in 1945 and, in response to a Canadian proposal by future Canadian Prime Lester "Mike" Pearson, created the United Nations Emergency Force in 1957 to provide peacekeeping measures to member nations. Pearson received the one and only Nobel Peace Prize awarded to a Canadian for his proposal which ended an armed conflict in the Suez Canal region and was the template for future UN peacekeeping missions.
A total of 154 Canadian soldiers have been killed during peacekeeping missions in Korea, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Indo-China, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Belgian Congo, Cyprus, Vietnam, Somalia, Rwanda, Macedonia, Cambodia, Yugoslavia, Haiti and Serbia.
Monday, August 9, has been declared Peacekeeping Day in Manitoba as part of the salute to Canada's UN veterans.
Memorial Park also commemorates the sacrifices made by Canadians during the First World War, Second World War and the Korean War.
Winnipeg Real Estate News August 13, 2004
Cairn To Honour Fallen Peacekeepers
A new cairn dedicated to Canadians who have died in peacekeeping missions around the world will be unveiled tomorrow.
An unveiling ceremony with full military honours will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m. on the northwest corner of Memorial Boulevard at Osborne Street North.
"Canada was a founder of the UN peacekeeping force and thousands of our soldiers have served with distinction in countries in conflict around the world," said Transportation and Government Services Minister Ron Lemieux. "Sadly, in meeting this great international obligation, many Canadians have made the highest sacrifice in the name of peace and this cairn is a tribute to their legacy."
The memorial cairn consists of three stone pillars ranging from 2.5 metres to 3.6 metres tall representing the strength of the army, navy, our force and RCMP Each pillar is engraved with a single word: past, present and future, to signify the service and sacrifice of Canadian peacekeepers.
The memorial is an initiative of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping and is funded by the City of Winnipeg, army, navy and air force veterans associations, the Royal Canadian Legion, War Amps of Canada, Jewish War Veterans of Canada, and other military associations and private citizens.
The United Nations was founded in 1945 and, in response to a Canadian proposal, created the United Nations Emergency Force in 1957 to provide peacekeeping to member nations.
A total of 154 Canadian soldiers have been killed during peacekeeping missions around the world.
Monday, Aug. 9 has been declared Peacekeeping Day in Manitoba as part of the salute to Canada's UN veterans.
Winnipeg Free Press August 7, 2004
Unveiling Of Manitoba's Peacekeepers' Cairn
Somber skies and the ominous threat of thundershowers loomed over downtown Winnipeg as hundreds of veterans, service members and the public gathered for a serious yet celebratory memorial service Aug. 8 to recognize Canadian peacekeepers - past, present and future.
The ceremony unveiled a newly constructed Peacekeepers' Cairn by the LGen RR Crabbe Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping (CAVUNP) in dedication to those who served their country in the cause for peace since the signing of the United Nations Charter in 1945.
Situated on the Manitoba Legislature grounds near the War Monument and Women's Tri-Service Monument. this uniquely constructed Cairn is a three-pillar monument.
Inscribed on each pillar respectively are the words Past, Present and Future to reflect the span of time Canadian, have served in peacekeeping missions and will continue to serve in for years to come. The three pillars also represent the strength of the Canadian Forces: the Army. Navy and, Air Force as well as the RCMP.
"With this cairn we will have in the heart of Winnipeg a place that pays tribute to the contributions and sacrifices of our Canadian peacekeepers." announced The Honourable John Harvard. Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba and guest of honour of the memorial service. "Remembering the peacekeepers is a way of keeping the values they served and still do serve alive and well in Canada."
Norm Van Tassel, a member of the LGen RR Crabbe Chapter, and the inspiration behind the creation of the cairn, said the project took a little over two years to complete, made possible by several donations from veterans and government organizations.
"It just means with a lot of hard work and the support of all the different branches of our military here in the city and the many different associations that we can come together as one to remember our fallen Comrades."
Representing 17 Wing Winnipeg and the Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Kerr. Acting Wing Commander attended the ceremony joined by Honorary Colonel Ben Van Rouen. and Chief Warrant Officer Claude Parent
"It is an honour to be part this auspicious occasion among the hundreds of other past and present serving members all paying tribute to our peacekeepers" commented LCol Kerr who laid a wreath upon the Cairn on behalf of l7 Wing. "Those of us who have served on Peacekeeping missions know all to well the dangers in the fight for peace and to those who have paid the ultimate price, we will remember them with this Cairn - a prominent and enduring symbol of their sacrifice."
BGen Dennis Tabbernor, former 38 CBG commander and now the Director General Land Reserves, acted as Reviewing Officer for the memorial service parade made up of veterans, service members and young cadets, a true reflection of peacekeepers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. 33 Canadian Brigade Group provided service and support to make the event all possible with the inclusion of army reservists making up part of the tri-service guard. The Fort Garry Horse, Ghost Squadron of vintage military vehicles lined the street providing the appropriate backdrop to the remembrance of peacekeepers
The ceremony was celebrated just one day before Manitoba's Peacekeeping Day. Aug. 9 - a day that became official last year by the Manitoba government as a day of remembrance to the thousands of peacekeepers who have served both Canada and Manitoba. CAVUNP was instrumental in the creation of this annual commemorative day.
By Capt Mary Lee and Sgt Amber Bine - Voxair
The Peace Keepers Cairn was unveiled in Winnipeg on the 8 of August 2004.
The driving force behind the construction of the Cairn were Korea Veteran / Peace Keeper Norman VanTassel and his wife Lynn. President Dave Davidson represented the Korea Veterans Association and it was rewarding to see the comradeship and support that was given by other veterans organizations. The cairn is constructed in military granite. The three pillars representing the Navy, Army and Air Force as well as the Past, Present and Future is an impressive thirty three tons in weight.
Congratulations Norm and Lynn. Seeing projects through to a successful conclusion is rewarding but it is not accomplished without a lot of hard work and dedication.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF VETERANS IN UNITED NATIONS PEACEKEEPING
August 10, 2004
On behalf of all members of the LGen. RR Crabbe Chapter of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, thank you very much for your generous donation toward the Peacekeepers Cairn. As you are aware, the cairn is a memorial to all Canadian Peacekeepers who died in the service of peace on behalf of Canada. It was unveiled at a memorial service held August 8, 2004 and now stands with the many others on Memorial Boulevard to commemorate the sacrifices of our military over the years.
The Manitoba Government has agreed to maintain the cairn in perpetuity, as it does with the other monuments on Memorial Boulevard. The Chapter will be assisting in this as necessary and to the extent possible. As well, we will of course focus our remembrance services and ceremonies at the cairn. The names of all those who donated toward the establishing of the cairn will be entered into the minutes of our next general chapter Meeting.
The realization of the cairn as a memorial would not have been possible without your generous donation and your support. Again, on behalf of all members, please accept my sincere thanks and appreciation for supporting such a memorable and significant event.
LGen (Ret) RR Crabbe
Unit 46 KVA National President's Remarks and Letter to Unit 46 from LGen Crabbe