Aboriginal veterans honoured in ceremony

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/06/21/aboriginal-veterans-honoured-in-ceremony

More than 100 people gathered to celebrate National Aboriginal Day in Ottawa Tuesday.

Every year on June 21, aboriginal veterans are honoured in a wreath laying ceremony downtown.

One veteran traveled all the way from northern Alberta last year, said John Jewitt from the National Aboriginal Veterans Association.

“He wanted to see the monument before he died,” said Jewitt.

“So it means quite a bit to a lot of the aboriginal veterans.’

It’s been 10 years since the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument was dedicated in Confederation Park.

“We have a couple of ceremonies here every year and each year the crowds get bigger,” said Jewitt.

More than 7,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.

“They have overcome cultural challenges to help shape Canada into what it has become today,” said Gov. Gen. David Johnston.

At least 500 died for their country.

“What a legacy those men and women have left — what an example their service has provided,”said Johnston.

Veterans affairs minister Steven Blaney said the heroic contributions of aboriginal veterans must be preserved in our military history.

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