Heroes Park

Heroes Park
City of Beaconsfield

City of Beaconsfield

October 15, 2014 15:00 ET

Inauguration of Heroes Park and a Cenotaph Honouring Military Personnel, Police Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics and First Responders

BEACONSFIELD, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Oct. 15, 2014) - Today the City of Beaconsfield paid a moving tribute to military personnel, police officers, firefighters, paramedics and first responders by inaugurating Heroes Park and a cenotaph in recognition of their honour, service and sacrifice.

Present for the unveiling were His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada; Georges Bourelle, Mayor of Beaconsfield; and a number of dignitaries and representatives of the groups being recognized.

"It is a pleasure to be here for the dedication of this park in honour of the military personnel, community police officers, RCMP officers, firefighters, paramedics and first responders who bravely serve this community and this country," said His Excellency. "Many of Canada's most precious values - the rule of law, the protection of human rights, care for the health and well-being of others - would be severely compromised without the support of these exemplary Canadians."

"On behalf of the people of Beaconsfield, we are delighted to welcome the Governor General of Canada to the inauguration of the monument in Heroes Park - a special and unique occasion in our city. This park will now be a permanent symbol honouring all men and women in uniform as well as the memory of police, firefighters and first-responders who have served our community. This project is the result of a partnership between the City, the Heroes Committee, local community organizations, sponsors, students and committed citizens united to honour the memory of those who have given their lives in the service of others, ╦" said Mayor Georges Bourelle.

Major Richard Gratton, Chair of the Heroes Committee, had the idea for the cenotaph while he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2010. For help in realizing the project, he obtained the support of the Beaconsfield City Council, which saw this worthy initiative as a wonderful opportunity to transform Shore Park into a space where people can gather and reflect on the service of military personnel, police officers, firefighters, paramedics and first responders.

Major Gratton said, "This is a dream come true for me. It's a sanctuary that highlights the service and commitment of all those who, in the course of duty, risked their lives or made the ultimate sacrifice. This park symbolizes our appreciation for those who protect our past, our present and our future, because we have a collective duty of remembrance."

The three words inscribed on the cenotaph-"honour," "sacrifice" and "service"-express the purpose of the Heroes Park project in Beaconsfield. In the eyes of the Montreal Police Department (SPVM), the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the Quebec provincial police (Sureté du Québec), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Quebec ambulance service (Urgences-santé), the Montreal Fire Department (SIM), and the many veterans and community members involved, this unique collaborative project is a dignified, fitting memorial.

Inspired by the European tradition in which school children help maintain monuments and participate in commemorative activities, the Heroes Committee worked closely with the administrators, teachers and students of Beaconsfield High School to develop the park. The school, under the leadership of its principal, Rosemary Patterson, contributed to the project by creating a time capsule that will be buried near the cenotaph on November 11. It will include messages of hope from the current generation to the one that will open the capsule during the 200th anniversary of the First World War in 2114.

Beaconsfield's Heroes Park was designed by landscape architect Christopher Parent of the firm BC2. The park is located on Beaconsfield Boulevard at Shore Road in Montreal's West Island.

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