It’s an annual tradition that a Remembrance Day service is held at the Legislative Building ahead of November 11, but this year’s ceremony took on a deeper meaning for a group less often recognized for their service.
Parks Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan collaborated to unveil a plaque honouring the contribution of military nurses.
Former Canadian Association for the History of Nursing (CAHN) president Marion McKay and Saskatchewan Association of Registered Nurses president Joanne Peterson unveiled the plaque amidst applause in the Rotunda.
McKay said this day has been a long time coming as the CAHN sent in the application for the recognition while she was president. Now, the plaque will eventually be affixed to the War Sister’s monument at the Saskatchewan war memorial just west of the Legislative Building.
“That’s where they belong, because they served and they died as well, so they deserve a presence here at the war memorial,” McKay said.
She travelled from Winnipeg for Wednesday’s ceremony and said it was an honour to be a part of it. This feeling is echoed by Peterson.
“We are celebrating our 100th anniversary of profession led regulation in 2017, and this is just and this is just another part of our centennial year, so very honoured to take part,” Peterson said.
Saskatchewan member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Jim Miller, presided over the unveiling. He said there is a very high standard to be recognized as a historic person, which all Canadian war nurses have now been collectively recognized as.
“They must be of truly national historic significance, and clearly have been. Because they served a great deal, they endured great hardship and danger and a good number of them lost their lives,” Miller said.