By Alexis R. Milan
The Belize City Council, in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Legion, held a small recognition ceremony, which ended with a wreath laying to commemorate war veterans from Belize, Canada and all over the world.
Mayor Darrel Bradley said that as the grandson of a veteran, he was compelled to have the City Council host the ceremony after receiving a letter from the Royal Canadian Legion, informing him that members from the organization would be in the City for one day. Bradley said it was important to not only recognize Canadian veterans but also to commemorate the brave Belizeans that served in World War II as part of the Common Wealth.
Bradley said often times people take for granted the freedoms afforded to us and don’t value and recognize our veterans. He added that the Legion does a lot of lobbying for veterans and said that more should be done in Belize to provide for the needs of veterans in Belize.
The Royal Canadian Legion provides small stipends to veterans all around the world, including Belize, for the remainder of their lives and when they pass away, that stipend then goes to their widows, Tom Eagles, Royal Canadian Legion president explained.
Eagles said the Legion, which has over 300,000 members in Canada, looks after veterans in 15 Caribbean countries and will continue to do so until the last one has died. Eagles said it was important to recognize those who made the supreme sacrifice of giving their lives for freedom.
Several World War II veterans attended the ceremony, as well as veterans who served in several other countries. Bradley presented Eagles with the key to Belize City before Eagles laid a wreath on the monument in Memorial Park, commemorating those who died in WWII.