Did you Ever Wonder...

What memorial is considered the first to be erected in Canada to recognize and commemorate the service and sacrifice of its community members of the military, police, peace officers and fire services?

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The Prince Edward Island Service Memorial Fountain, located in Queen's Square, Charlottetown is considered the first memorial of its kind erected in Canada to commemorate and recognize the combined services of those who served either as members of the Armed Forces, police, peace officers or fire services and were prepared to risk their lives in the performance of their duties. More precisely, this memorial fountain commemorates the service of Prince Edward Islanders in Canada's Armed Forces in the interest of peace and security within Canada's borders and around the world. It also recognizes the service and sacrifice of police and peace officers who maintain law and order, and members of the fire services who protect lives and property.

As shown in the photograph, the memorial's centre piece is a large-sized bronze sculpture of a hand holding the Torch of Remembrance along with a quote from Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (30 November 1872 – 28 January 1918) inscribed at the base of the sculpture. Taken from the war poem "In Flanders Fields" written on 3 May 1915 by Canadian poet, physician and soldier during the First World War, McCrae expresses the importance of the duty to remember: "To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high." The memorial fountain was officially dedicated on 18 September 2005 – during the Year of the Veteran – by the Honourable Léonce Bernard, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Albina Guarnieri, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Premier Pat Binns and Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee, joined by veterans and families for the ceremony. An annual scholarship to the University of Prince Edward Island was also created as a companion memorial as a means of Passing of the Torch and to remind the youth of the importance of voluntary service. The Prince Edward Island Service Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a student who is a resident of the province, serves/served, or has ancestors or family members who served, in the Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Sea, Army or Air Cadets.

On this day, 18 September 2022 we commemorate the 17th anniversary of the dedication of the Prince Edward Island Service Memorial Fountain recognizing the service all those Islanders who served as members of the Canadian Armed Forces, police officers, peace officers or with fire services.

André M. Levesque

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