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Borden Legacy Monument Unveiling – June 2016
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Image by antefixus21
June 9, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces. This short vid shows the unveiling.

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to honour the service of our women and men in uniform, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today visited Canadian Forces Base Borden to participate in the unveiling of the new Borden Legacy Monument, part of the CFB Borden Centennial Celebrations.

The monument is a gift from the local communities of Simcoe County to honour the two million sons and daughters of Canada who have trained at CFB Borden over the last 100 years. It will continue to pay tribute to the over 20,000 sailors, soldiers and aviators per year who train at the base to serve this country.

During the unveiling, an urn containing battlefield soil patriated from Vimy, France, was enshrined in a niche in the monument. More than 66,000 Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War, including at the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

“Today, we all come together to take part in these centennial celebrations, united in common purpose. The Borden Legacy Monument is a fitting honour to those who serve in uniform to protect our values and way of life at home and abroad.”

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“The monument unveiled at Borden today, during the Centennial celebrations, is a longstanding symbol of honour and remembrance bestowed upon all the women and men who wear the uniform in service to Canada. It demonstrates one community’s proud commitment to and passion for the Canadian Armed Forces.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister
“On behalf of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, I am honoured by this gift to CFB Borden. Those involved in the Legacy Project, led by Honorary Colonel Jamie Massie, have thereby shown the greatest respect to our military personnel – those who have come before, who are here today, and who will serve Canada in the future.”

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff
Quick Fact
The battlefield soil was retrieved from Vimy, France, in June 2015, during a ceremony attended by Lawrence Cannon, Canadian Ambassador to France, a delegation from Simcoe County, members from Base Borden, French Forces, and the Vimy Foundation.…

Article by: Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner Mon. Dec. 15, 2014.

Canadians who have gone to war during the last century, and those who will go in the next one, will be honoured by a new monument at the Angus gate of Canadian Forces Base Borden.

“What I want to do is pay honour to the history to the people who served our country 100 years ago,” said Honourary Col. Jamie Massie, of the Borden Legacy Project. “And a 100 years from now I want soldiers to go through those gates and to be motivated and inspired by this monument.

“To me it’s about being Canadian and serving the Canadian Forces.”

CFB Borden’s 100th anniversary is 2016, when a century ago, the base was training soldiers for the First World War.

Massie, who spoke to Barrie city council Monday night about the legacy project, noted many of the Canadian troops who went overseas from 1916 until 1918 were trained at Borden – where the original training trenches were restored in 2011.

“You go look at these trenches and how they trained, their optimism about going there,” he said, “and then they show up there and ended up with these absolutely devastating conditions of battle.”

Many who trained at Borden also fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge, April 9-12, 1917, when 15,000 Canadian infantry overran the Germans, but with a terrible toll – 3,598 soldiers killed and 7,000 wounded (Canadian War Museum, Tim Cook).

It was that battle which changed Canada from a British colony into a nation, as noted by Gen. Arthur Currie, commander of the Canadian Corps during the latter part of the war.

And Massie said it’s only fitting that the monument contain Currie’s words.

“To those who fall I say, ‘You will not die, but step into immortality. Your mothers will not lament your fate, but will have been proud to have borne such sons. Your names will be revered for ever and ever by your grateful country, and God will take you unto Himself.’”

Massie also has a personal connection to Vimy Ridge. His grandfather fought there with the 48th Highlanders and lost his left leg during the battle

“He lay bleeding in the mud for 18 hours before they picked him up. Then they took him and they cut his leg off,” Massie said.

His father also trained at Borden and served in the Second World War.

The monument will include soil from the Vimy battlefield, with the French government’s permission, that Massie himself will travel to France next June to collect along with other dignitaries.

“It (the soil) represents not just the DNA of those 3,500 who died and 7,000 wounded, but represents the repatriation of Canadian soldiers, who were lost and buried and forgotten,” said Massie. “To me the monument will inspire and motivate because we are living to the standard that Gen. Currie promised his troops, that we wouldn’t forget them.”

The monument will be created by Marlene Hilton Moore, a local artist who creates public art with striking human figures and architectural forms, along with personal art in on-going exhibitions in galleries and museums.

Her Borden Legacy Project will include walls of highly polished black granite, wings of white granite and a First World War bugler. Beyond the bugler will be a contemplation area, nestled among maple trees and four, black, polished granite benches.

“The idea is to create a place where. . .you can have a very quiet and beautiful place to sit and contemplate the meaning of the monument,” Hilton Moore said.

“It will be a reflection point, a chance to think of how lucky we are to have the freedom that we have,” Massie said.

The monument will be paid for with privately donated funds, and Massie said most of the money has already been raised.

“This is an opportunity for our community to say thank you for 100 years,” he said. “All of these people have trained at the base and they have all done their part to bring us the freedom that we share, and we all live with freedom, we live with democracy and we have justice and rule of law, which is what makes us Canadian.”

Base Borden is also an economic driver in the community, with 950 soldiers who work at Base Borden that live in Barrie with their families.

On June 1, 2016 some of the Vimy soil will be left with Barrie’s Cenotaph, when it’s relocated in Memorial Square. The Vimy soil will then be marched back to Base Borden on a gun carriage.

The Borden Legacy Project will be unveiled in mid-June 2016, marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of CFB Borden.

Soil from Vimy Ridge to be featured in Borden memorial
Nov. 2014, Barrie Advance Article by Laurie Watt
As the CFB Borden turns 100, Grey and Simcoe Foresters Major John Fisher unveiled a project to commemorate not only the base, but the local people who trained there and fought in the First World War.

Known as the Borden Legacy Project, the memorial –— designed by nationally acclaimed, local sculptor Marlene Hilton Moore –— will include some Vimy Ridge soil and serve as a gateway to restored trenches rediscovered a few years ago, just inside the base’s Angus gates.

“The legacy project is the creation and donation of a large, beautiful memorial tied into the Vimy trenches that have been restored. It’s a memorial to all those who’ve served since 1916,” Grey and Simcoe Foresters Maj. John Fisher said.

“Its two walls with inscriptions on them, are dark and light granite. They’re long and angled — a sculpture more than a chunk of rock. There’ll be a large bronze bugler on a base as well. The pathways to the back will lead into the Vimy trenches.

“It will be quite the emotive experience as you walk through this and into the woods and into the trenches, where the soldiers trained before they went over to France.”

Announced at the Spirit Catcher Awards gala in Barrie Tuesday night, the 0,000 project celebrates the link between the base and Barrie, where the Simcoe Foresters were based in the Mulcaster Street armoury.

Fisher recalled the historic night, Jan. 27, 1912, when Minister of Military and Defence Sir Sam Hughes announced a new base would be built on the Simcoe Pines Plain and a new armoury would be built in Queen’s Park in Barrie. The announcement occurred at a regimental dinner at the Queen’s Hotel and set in motion the construction of the armouries, which opened in 1915, and the base, which opened in 1916.

Fisher added the project will also celebrate the many men who fought and died in France.

“Thirty-six battalions left Barrie between mid-September and mid-November 1916 and they went to England and then broken up and sent into France,” said Fisher, recalling the 157th and 177th Simcoe Foresters and the 147th and 248th Grey Battalions.

The face of the project will be Leonard Webster, a Penetanguishene boy who went overseas as a captain with the 157th, the founding battalion of CFB Borden, and who died three days after arriving in Vimy.

Soil from Vimy Ridge to be featured in Borden memorial

Stan Howe

A new memorial is planned for the entrance to Base Borden. Major John Fisher presented the design, featuring an inscribed wall and a statue of a bugler.

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