The Unveiling of Remembrance in Jade
Canada’s first War Memorial in jade was unveiled on August 4, 2014 at Cates Park / Whey ah Wichen, North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Michael Binkley was commissioned to carve a war memorial for a park that has held Remembrance Day ceremonies for years with no cenotaph to honour. The Memorial was carved at his North Vancouver studio and installed in July.
The chosen occasion for the Memorial’s unveiling was August 4, 2014 – the 100th anniversary of Canada entering World War I. The day was greeted clear skies and the Memorial was veiled by a Canadian flag that once flew over the Parliament Buildings in the Canada’s capital of Ottawa.
Four military Cadets stood guard. A Full Colour Honour Guard marched on, heralded by a pipe band.
The ceremonies were attended by a few hundred spectators and presided over by Bill Calder, president of the Royal Canadian Legion 114 Lynn Valley Branch. Dignitaries from Federal, Provincial and Municipal Governments, the Canadian Military and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation gave speeches and words of praise. Then the Cadets unwrapped the Memorial and the media moved in.
World War II Veteran (Army) Angnes Keegan placed a wreath before the Memorial, flanked by RCMP Officers in full regalia. Finally, the Memorial was saluted by a lone bugler and a piper.
The Full Colour Honour Guard marched off, and the public was welcomed to take a closer look at the Memorial. A WWI rifle stood at attention in front of the Memorial (left) and Michael stood with project champion, Mick Webb (right).
Poppies were strewn across the epitaphs of the Memorial. It was a beautiful celebration of the men and women first responders who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.