Although the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, it was unthinkable for the Montréal West Island IUHSSC to ignore the sacrifices made by the valiant veteran residents at Ste. Anne's Hospital (SAH) during Veterans' Week 2020.
Despite the significant sanitary guidelines in place, a diverse program of commemorative activities was offered to these heroes from November 5 to 11 to honour their exploits in World War II and the Korean War. On the battlefields, these men and women displayed extraordinary bravery in defending values dear to our country, such as democracy, freedom, and peace. It was therefore incumbent upon us to honour them and our compatriots who made the ultimate sacrifice during various conflicts.
This year, because of the pandemic, we were unable to hold a ceremony dedicated to the modern-era veterans who attend the Operational Stress Injury Clinic (including the satellite clinic in Longueuil), the residential treatment program for operational stress injuries, and Pain Management Clinic, all located at SAH. The same was also true for clients of the Liaison Centre, which is also attached to this facility. However, this is only a hiatus.
Here are photos some of the highlights from this very special week organized by the IUHSSC’s Communications Department in collaboration with the SAH Recreation Department and valued partners.
Photos 1, 3, 8, and 9: In this pandemic period, many people let our veterans know they were thinking of them by sending them beautiful gifts. The Consul General of South Korea gave boxes of ginseng tea (photo 1). Many children sent postcards to our veterans (photo 3). The Québec Veterans Foundation donated lovely caps, personalized with the name of each of our heroes (photo 8). Schoolchildren from the daycare at St. John Fisher elementary school in Pointe Claire gave rock paintings illustrating Remembrance Day (photo 9).
Photos 2 and 5: The touching Wreath-Laying Ceremony took place while respecting social distancing measures. Veterans and civilian residents were able to watch the ceremony thanks to a closed-circuit broadcast.
Photo 4: During lunch, veterans were treated to beautiful cupcakes decorated with a poppy.
Photo 6: World War II veteran Ms. Joyce Saunders greatly appreciated the special dinner served on November 11, as well as the many gifts she received.
Photo 7: The veterans listened with interest to a video montage of testimonies paying homage to them. Speakers included the President of the Board of Directors, Richard Legault; President and CEO Lynne McVey; managers from the Support for Elderly Autonomy Program Directorate; and, members of the Canadian Armed Forces deployed to SAH last spring. This screening was the launch of Veterans’ Week.