A Book of Reflection to commemorate the passing of the last known Canadian World War I veteran will be available starting today in the legislature for the general public to sign, announced Premier Gordon Campbell.
Premier Campbell will sign the book today in the legislature. The book will remain in the legislature and be available for the public to sign until April 9, Vimy Ridge Day.
"We owe veterans our respect and appreciation for the sacrifices they have made to secure and protect our freedoms," said Premier Campbell. "It is important that we remember the contributions they have made to the society we enjoy today. I encourage British Columbians to show their appreciation by visiting the legislature and signing this Book of Reflection."
John "Jack" Babcock, Canada's last known veteran of the First World War, passed away on February 18, 2010. At age 16 he was placed in a reserve battalion called the Boys (or Young Soldiers) Battalion and later trained with the 26th Reserve in England. Babcock moved to the United States after the war and became an American citizen in 1946. He became a dual Canadian-American citizen in 2008.
Six hundred and twenty thousand Canadian men and women served in the First World War as soldiers or healthcare support. An estimated 67,000 Canadians died during the war. Fourteen British Columbians are recognized in the legislature for having earned the Victoria Cross Award while serving in the First World War. Canada entered that war as a British colony but signed the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as a nation.
British Columbians who are unable to visit the legislature and sign the Book of Reflection in person can contribute to a virtual Book of Reflection available on the Veterans Affairs Canada website at:www.vac-acc.gc.ca/remembers/sub.cfm?source=feature/crfww/crfww_msgbrd