In today’s fast-paced world, it can be easy to take our way of life for granted, and forget that so many men and women sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy. As a nation, it is important to remember those who served and sacrificed, to participate in commemorations that honour the Fallen, and to encourage all Canadians, young and old, to pause, to give thanks and to remember.
The Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion President David Flannigan is honoured to introduce Mrs. Diana Abel as the National Silver Cross Mother for 2017.
Mrs. Abel’s only son, Corporal Michael David Abel, died on May 3, 1993 while serving in Belet Huen, Somalia, as part of Operation Deliverance. This operation was part of a United Nations peacekeeping effort during the early part of the Somali Civil War.
From sunrise to sunset on Sunday, April 9, the Legion will join federal, provincial and municipal institutions in lowering the Canadian flag to commemorate Vimy Ridge Day 2017. All other flags flown at all Legion locations also will be lowered to half-mast in observance of this pivotal day in Canadian history.
Canadians are hearing more and more about the deep gaps in care and benefits for Veterans. At the forefront of discussion is the New Veterans Charter, a set of benefits adopted in 2006 without clause-by-clause review in Parliamentary Committee and in the Senate because of a perceived view that the Pension Act did not meet the modern needs of many injured and ill Veterans.
On February 21st, the Legion was invited to speak to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage about Bill C-311, An Act to amend the Holidays Act (Remembrance Day). Various bills have come to Parliament over the years on this matter and was once again recently presented as Bill C-311. We were asked to present our position on the bill.
The challenges military and RCMP members face when transitioning to civilian life has been in the news recently. Although we cannot comment on any specific case due to confidentiality reasons, The Royal Canadian Legion has long been advocating for improvements in services and supports for Veterans transitioning to civilian life.
The challenges facing Veterans, including serving military and RCMP members, both while serving and after release, are widespread and have uniquely developed through the roles and responsibilities they take on while in service.
Our membership is one of the largest volunteer groups in the country, committing millions of volunteer hours each year. At its heart, The Royal Canadian Legion is a grassroots organization that has its greatest impact through volunteer, community-based activities. Although a key focus of the work we do is to honour and support Canada’s Veterans, the Legion grew from a history of service. Today, we continue that tradition by volunteering in our communities, helping to build a stronger Canada.