By: Joseph Paquette, Secretary of the Métis Nation of Ontario Veterans’ Council

Sea of wreathsThe Sea of Wreaths at the Port Credit Cenotaph; a wreath created by local MNO citizens
to honour Métis veterans is third from the left in the second row.

As we do every November 11th, this year we remembered and honoured all the servicemen and women who contributed to the freedom of our country, Canada. Once again, I had the privilege of participating in the Remembrance Day parade sponsored by the local Royal Canadian branch 82 located in Port Credit.

It was good to see many familiar and friendly faces. Mr. Jim Tolles, a Credit River MNO citizen, also attended and took several photographs. Thank you, Jim for your support of Métis Veterans and your commitment to our people.

As the parade assembled at Branch 82, the wind was blowing with such a strength and cold to boot; a certain pride came over me in that I was carrying the Métis Batoche flag to honour of our Métis Veterans.

Just as we started to march, the wind blew off the top clip, which held the Métis Batoche flag in its proper place on the pike I was carrying. I became very uncomfortable knowing that the Batoche flag was now flying at haft-mast. The Sergeant-at-Arms instructed me to remain in the Colour Party, so, I had to keep going. I noticed, however, that the flags that were flying at the Legion Branch and government buildings in Fort Credit were also flying at haft-mast. It was then I realized that perhaps it was meant to be as a tribute to our brave Métis Veterans that died fighting In the War of 1812, Batoche, World War I and II, Korea, Afghanistan and many other conflicts around the world.

Arriving at the cenotaph, my eyes were met with a sea of wreaths representing many veteran organizations throughout Canada and abroad. This was overwhelming since so many were being remembered for their contributions. It was a reminder of the many who crossed the oceans to far away lands and battled for freedom. Within the sea of wreaths, was the Métis Veterans wreath. Pride again filled my heart in the knowledge that the Métis are part of the Canadian fabric of honoured veterans. Along with all Canadian veterans, we are now being recognized for having contributed to Canadian freedom.

We shall remember them…