Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lest we forget

From The Truro Daily News
Child seeks town council's support to recognize wartime animals
Published on November 7, 2011
‘I wear a poppy to remember soldiers and animals.'
TRURO - A young child fighting for recognition for animals that served in war has taken his plight to Truro town council.
Noah Tremblay, 11, of Bass River approached council on Monday afternoon pleading with councillors to help spread the word of a project he is diligently working on. Tremblay is raising money for a monument at Veteran's Memorial Park in Bass River to honour animals that served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
"Animals are forgotten heroes. You might think animals are not important but they are," the Grade 6 West Colchester Consolidated School student told council just days before Remembrance Day.
"I wear a poppy to remember soldiers and animals."Tremblay has designed a monument for the memorial park that he estimated would cost $13,000. He has fundraised $9,800 already through donations, selling lip balm and going to farmers' markets. The youngster has approached different levels of government and was told it would cost $75,000 to have a government-designed monument at the site, of which Tremblay would only have to pay half.

Whether it's his own design, or that of the government, Tremblay hopes to have a marker on site by next Canada Day.
While at council, Tremblay showed councillors a project he submitted last year at a regional heritage fair in Bible Hill.
The project is designed like a three-foot high headstone that opens to reveal photos and stories of animals during war.
"Dogs carried ammunition, found injured people and protected and comforted them. Pigeons found men at sea and mules and horses carried ammunition. Dolphins had bombs strapped to them to bomb enemy vessels," Tremblay told the Truro Daily News after his council presentation.
"I've always loved animals and this is important to do so I hope people help."
Anyone interested in donating to the monument project can do so at the Community Credit Union in Bass River, email Tremblay at or call 647-2056.
What a wonderful idea!   Tuck this little tale in your pocket to keep for the next time people start generalizing about how terrible today's youth are! 
Should anyone belittle the idea, please remind them that in our own Parliament Building in Ottawa, the stone wall at the entrance to the Memorial Chamber has carved animals and the words “The Humble Beasts that Served and Died.” (see below)
If you are interested in sharing the stories of some of our own Canadian animal war heroes with some of the children in your own circle, there is a lovely little section in the Veterans Affairs website called Tales of Animals in War.
There is an old joke on most army bases that the Regimental Sergeant Majors are so gruff on the parade square that when the canine mascot barks that entire regiment snaps to attention!   The truth is that regimental mascots and service animals have gone to battlefields with the troops from time memorial.
They have comforted and consoled.  They have served as messengers and even transport.
What time is it?    It is always important to honor the work of our human veterans ... and remember how important the Dogs ( and Horses / Pigeons / Bears / etc ) of War have been to them during those difficult times.

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