Roger Bird

Military museum unveils wall of honour for veterans

NANAIMO – The Vancouver Island Military Museum is selling plaques for a wall of honour, meant to pay tribute to veterans' service.

A new veterans’ wall of honour at the Vancouver Island Military Museum is a visible reminder of the debt we owe to our veterans, said Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell as the project launched Friday.

The Vancouver Island Military Museum formally unveiled a new wall of honour with the help of local dignitaries, which is meant to pay tribute to the service of veterans. The 264-plaque wall, on the side of the downtown facility, will be a fundraiser for the non-profit museum and commemorates the start of the First World War 100 years ago.

“This is not a memorial,” said Brian McFadden, museum vice-president. “It’s meant to honour the service that the people gave.”

Stilwell, who helped celebrate the new wall with Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog and Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay, congratulated the museum and its volunteers for championing the cause and giving families and the public a way to honour the service of others and remember loved ones. Krog called the initiative a wonderful thing.

“In terms of its military history this nation has punched above its weight at every conflict it’s ever been involved in and those who made that sacrifice, those who offered to serve, need our thanks and our congratulations,” he said.

The plaques are $195, and available to recognize those who served in Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and the armed forces of the Commonwealth.

People will see the person’s name, branch they served in and dates of service etched into a granite slab, but no rank.

“Death is a great leveller,” said McFadden. “It doesn’t matter whether you were an admiral or whether you were a private, it’s your service that we are honouring.

“A respect of what you did or where you went; you served for a period of time and you were prepared to go wherever you were asked to go and do whatever you were asked to do.”

For more information about purchasing plaques, please call the military museum at 250-753-3814.

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