Thank You Flag Project Volunteers and Veterans

Dear Friends,

On Nov. 5, the Flags Over London project was completed with the raising of Canada's national, provincial and territorial flags on Veterans Memorial Parkway.

The dream to have these flags as part of the visual tribute to veterans began with the Royal Canadian Legion.

In April 2007, I sponsored a reception for veterans in honour of the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and at that meeting one of the veterans, Ed Duffney, told me about the Legion's hope to have our national, provincial and territorial flags as part of the features on Veterans Memorial Parkway. I promised I would see what help my office could provide.

Within a few weeks, a flag committee chaired by Keith Mathyssen and including Carl and Carolyn Wilson, Ed Duffney, Coun. Bill Armstrong, Sean Wilson and Randy Warden began to investigate how to make Flags Over London a reality.

There were many meetings, phone inquiries and challenges along the way, but with assistance from Andrew Macpherson of the City of London, Ron Koudys and London's events planning committee members Glynis Tucker, Barry Sandler, Steve Lindsay and Heather Popham, the project came together.

While the federal and provincial governments did provide infrastructure funding, it is important to thank those individuals in the community who persisted and made the project a reality.

A debt of gratitude is owed to all the people who spearheaded the campaign as well as organizers like Henry Klausnitzer, Rick Postma, Vanessa Kinsley, the Canadian Forces, Barry Sandler and Scouts Canada.

The celebration on Nov. 5, was made all the more memorable because of the Veterans' Flag Party, No. 9 Royal Canadian Army Cadets, the fly-past of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association organized by Greg Burnard and the singing of O Canada and God Save the Queen by the London and District Christian secondary school choir under the direction of Lorissa Klassen.

I want to sincerely thank all the people and businesses who cared enough to devote much time and energy into this project. But even more, I wish to say how very grateful our community is to the veterans who are honoured by these flags.

Irene Mathyssen MP
London Fanshawe