West Island Veterans monument ‘The Return’ being built
West Island Veterans monument ‘The Return’ – It is estimated that 25% of soldier returning from an oversees deployment have difficulty re-integrating into their civilians lives. Veterans Affairs reports that up to 8% suffer PTSD and at its worst this horrible affliction creates depression which may result in domestic violence and tragically even homelessness. As citizens we have a duty to care for our men and women who wore the uniform. A group of local business leaders are doing just that by erecting a West island Veterans monument ‘The Return’ .
The RESPECT Campaign inaugurates its RESPECT Monument of HWY 40 in Kirkland Saturday October 21st at 1:00 PM. This monument is a symbol meant to remind us all that when our troops return home, they often bring the war back with them. They may fight a personal war against depression and anxiety or years after. The monument is supported by community donations along with private and public grants.
The RESPECT Campaign started back in October of 2011, Mr. Doug Bellevue, President of Task Micro Electronics Inc. affixed a twenty foot Respect Banner on his corporate headquarters along the Trans-Canada Highway in Kirkland. To Mr. Bellevue, the banner was a display of respect for Canadian military and veterans. That endeavour sparked the founding of the Respect Campaign, a partnership with Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services along with Canada Company for the corporate banner Campaign chaired by Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Steve Gregory. Doug and Steve joined with Major Richard Gratton, the founder of Heroes Park in Beaconsfield and the RESPECT Campaign was launched.
The RESPECT Campaign has three initiatives:
- The building of a RESPECT Monument that will serve as a continuous reminder of the many issues facing our veterans. The Campaign founders hope that it will become a new Montreal landmark for Canada’s 150th anniversary, Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
- The sale of RESPECT Banners (the Yellow Ribbon underlined with the word RESPECT). These line the highway every fall now.
- The hosting of Forums that bring together all of the charities and other stakeholders that are fighting to support PTSD and Homelessness among our veterans. The Forum enhances collaboration between groups and gives a stronger voice to veterans in need. The next Forum will be held on the 13th of November and will bring together over 40 different organization.
Please join the RESPECT Campaign at 1:00 PM for the unveiling of the monument. THE TRANS CANADA RESPECT MONUMENT The monument will be unveiled Saturday October 21st, 2017 at 1:00 PM at 16700 Trans Canada Highway, Kirkland, Québec.
For more information about the Forum or the Banner Campaign call Steve @514-919-5858
For more information: www.respectcanada.org
About the Sculpture
The sculpture is called “The Return” and it depicts a World War II veteran who has come home from war with his arm extended offering a victory/peace sign. He has returned. He stands to remind us that for many who come home there is no victory. They have not found peace. They remain in the conflict where they were serving. They have not returned home. They should not be left behind. Commemoration and Appreciation The monument will commemorate the past service of the men and women of our Canadian Armed Forces and those who serve today. It will honour the sacrifice of those we have lost, those who have been injured and the families whose lives have been forever changed. It will stand for the respect of those who continue to suffer long after the conflict is over and their duty is done. It will create awareness and serve as a continuous reminder of our serving military and veterans that suffer from PTSD and homelessness. About the Artist Colonel (Canadian Armed Forces, Retired) Andre D. Gauthier OMM, CD, is a Canadian monument sculptor and designer in various materials including bronze casting. The Royal Military College of Canada Gauthier Collection consists of 60 sculptures. His works are found in military and private collections in Canada, the United States and internationally. Military units have presented his sculptures to cities with which they have had a long association. His works have been presented to a member of the British Royal Family, the Governor General of Canada, two Canadian Prime Ministers, Canadian Cabinet Ministers and dozens of visiting foreign dignitaries. Five of his works are in the permanent art collection of the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa, Canada).