On behalf of myself, City Hall and the City of Burlington I want to thank all those who were able to come out to our Juno75 Burlington Remembers event last night (May 6) at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and support and hear about our local veterans from their families. There were so many powerful, emotional and important stories told last night.
Seeing everyone there was an outstanding demonstration of how much our community cares about the history and sacrifices of our veterans and the impact they made on the world — it made me so very proud to be your Mayor.
To the veterans we were lucky to have with us last night, and all their families, we were so honoured to have you there and are so proud of what you have done to represent our country, and the impact you have made on the freedoms and security of countless people around the world. Thank you for your service.
For those of you who could not attend, there is an online video from last night that we will be sharing at the bottom of this post in the coming days.
Last night’s event was sold-out in a matter of weeks, simply through word of mouth and social media. We had a whole ad campaign planned and we didn’t need to spend a dime. The people of this City couldn’t wait to come and pay tribute to our veterans, to hear their stories, and to pass on this important history to their children.
To give you some background as to how this great event all came about, it started from a meeting I had with Pam Calvert of the Juno Beach Centre Foundation in late February. We were talking about my upcoming visit to Juno Beach to take part in the 75th anniversary events there this June.
The Juno Beach Centre was brought to life by one of Burlington’s own veterans, Garth Webb, and it’s a wonderful memorial and museum located right on the beach where our soldiers landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Many people from Burlington were instrumental in its creation, and it was designed by Burlington’s own Chamberlain Architecture firm. In my conversation with Pam in February, we thought about our local veterans and their families who wouldn’t be able to make the trip in June, and how we needed to find a way to come together locally on this special occasion. And, two months later, here we were at Juno75 Burlington Remembers.
Last night, we played a short video of a young lady from Burlington who is now spending some time as a tour guide at the Juno Beach Centre Museum in France — I thought she beautifully put into words how the younger generations in our community are carrying on this important history and ensuring it is never forgotten. Below is the video:
Finally there are a few people I want to thank for putting on last night’s extremely successful event. I want to thank Pam and the whole organizing committee who put all this together for their months of hard work and collaboration. Rob Bennett and the Burlington Teen Tour Band immediately stepped up with their involvement, and they’ll also be touring in France for the events there next month, so it was very fitting to have had them here last night.
Bob Ankrett, of our local legion, was instrumental in so many details last night, and did an absolutely wonderful job as our MC. Thanks to Victoria Al-Samadi and Danielle Manton from our team at City Hall who masterminded so much behind the scenes. Ed Dorr, Chair of Burlington’s Mundialization Committee, who is always ready to lend a hand and the team at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre; all our exhibitors in the lobby, the Burlington Symphony on the Bay who played in the lobby as guests arrived, the Colour Guard and Piper, our singers Darryl Casselman and Hannah Bailey, Dr. Mike Bechtold of the Juno Beach Centre Association, and the veterans families who spoke to us sharing more history and memories.
As well, I wanted to thank the many local businesses who donated some delicious treats last night, including Nothing Bundt Cakes, The Block Cheese Co., Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, MollyCake, Mrs. B’s Gifthouse and Voortman Bakery.
It truly takes a village to make something like this happen, and our village certainly came through last night.
If you couldn’t make it in person, please watch the video below of the entire evening’s event: