National Veterans’ Week, November 5 to 11, affords Ottawa residents the opportunity to recognize the contributions made by local war veterans and to honour the sacrifice of those who lost their lives in service to Canada.
The week of Commemoration began with a candlelight vigil at Centrepointe Theatre, hosted by Mayor Jim Watson and The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs. This ceremony features the symbolic passing of the torch of remembrance, with Veterans passing candles to youth, who then carry them forward.
“The Government of Canada is proud to join with the City of Ottawa to launch Veterans Week,” said Minister Fantino. “This is a particularly moving ceremony and it is inspiring to see young Canadians participating in commemorative events through which they can obtain an appreciation and understanding of the service and sacrifice made by the men and women who have courageously served our nation.”
“Every freedom we enjoy, every night we sleep soundly, we owe to the generations of Canadians that have donned our flag and sailed, charged or soared into the face of peril” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Today, as we begin a week of commemoration, we do so with renewed purpose and greater resolve. Ottawa honours the service and sacrifice of all our veterans and offers our prayers for the safety of those who bravely follow in their footsteps.”
Following the act of remembrance, Mayor Watson announced the latest recipient of the Veterans’ Commemorative Street Naming program. This year the City is honouring its first female recipient, Helen Rapp, who served with distinction in the Canadian Women’s Army Corp, Directorate of Signals from 1942 to 1946.
“Helen Rapp came to Ottawa in 1941,” noted Mayor Watson. “She protected our community through her military service. She nurtured our community as a role model for women and as a strong advocate for veterans and their families. She also grew our community as the matriarch of her own large and loving family. As residents travel on Helen Rapp Way, may they always be reminded of her role as a pioneer.”
Helen Rapp was born in Shumacher, Ontario on July 25, 1925, and passed away in Ottawa on August 22, 2013. The Mayor offered his thanks to her family and presented them with a new street sign for the new Helen Rapp Way in the community of Findlay Creek. The City of Ottawa wishes to thank Tartan Homes and Tamarack Homes for providing this street to the Veterans’ Commemorative Street Naming program.