BASS RIVER – Being one of a few places in the world to host a special ceremony for peacekeepers shouldn’t be taken for granted, says Ken Jamieson.
The annual International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 7 in Bass River at the Cobequid Veterans Memorial Park. The gathering is dedicated to Canadian military, police, veterans and civilians who served or serve with the United Nations around the world.
Jamieson, event co-ordinator, said Bass River “is one of five places in the world to hold this event. It’s phenomenal … it’s hard to understand there are so few because of Canada’s involvement with the United Nations.”
Canada is the only UN member country to send personnel to all 63 sanctioned UN missions.
The service will begin at 10 a.m. with a motorcycle parade. Last year there were about 150 participants from throughout the Maritimes.
“We expect that many or more” this year, said Jamieson.
Jamieson expects about 500 people to gather for the 11 a.m. service, which will include the RCMP Pipes and Drums Band, laying of wreaths, addresses by dignitaries and guests and a special visitor.
“For the first time we are bringing in author Norman Leach,” of Calgary, who wrote Passchendaele: Canada’s Triumph and Tragedy on the Fields of Flanders.
After the service, a reception will be held at West Colchester Consolidated School and Leach will be there to meet people, answer questions and sign books.
Jamieson encourages everyone to attend the gathering, rain or shine.
“Our involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan make it more prominent to this and future generations,” he said. “There were 116 million casualties of war. The world can’t afford that to happen again and these people (veterans, those in service) and their families need to be recognized.”