Peacekeepers honoured with ceremony, commemorative plaque in Beaconsfield park

It was dubbed a ceremony of remembrance and more than a hundred people, veterans, military, RCMP and local police officers gathered for the event commemorating veterans.

Veterans UN-NATO Canada Montreal Region hosted a celebration of peacekeepers who served in Afghanistan, Gulf war, former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Bosnia.

Steeves Farmer was one of the peacekeepers honoured at Heroes' Park in Beaconsfield.

"They're going to read my biography," he said. "It touches me to my heart to be honoured and to recognize what we've done in our life."

For Farmer, celebrating the work of peacekeepers is crucial.

"I think it's important to also recognize people who worked on peacekeeping missions because we do lose people on peacekeeping missions, and people don't tie that together like when you're at war," he said.

It's those who have fallen and living vets who were given the spotlight to share their stories of courage.

Two of the main honourees were Able Seaman Harry Hurwitz, 97, and the late Able Seaman Raymond Meloche.

Hurwitz is the last survivor of the sinking of Her Majesty Canadian Ship Athabaskan G07, which sunk and lost action on April 29th, 1944.

At the ceremony, Hurwitz said he was thinking of his fallen brothers as they unveiled a permanent commemorative military plaque for the park.

"I felt sorry for the relatives of the ones who went down," he said.

But the new plaque is meant for people to reflect and remember.

"I think the public has to always be made aware to never forget," veteran Rick Cartmel said. "These guys served so you can live here in peace."

August 9th is the day to remember, as it marks National Peacekeepers' Day — a day recognizing the greatest single loss of Canadian lives on a peacekeeping mission, which happened on that date in 1974.