Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
Honourable senators, almost two years ago I was honoured to attend a special ceremony at the Canadian War Museum with the chief of defence staff and the museum president Mark O’Neill. During the ceremony, two significant New Brunswick First World War artifacts were donated to the War Museum. One of these was the original temporary grave marker of Private John F. Ashe, 26th Battalion, who died of his wounds in the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The marker was donated by his grandnephew Jim Landry of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Last year, for the one hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Jim Landry organized the planting of nearly 100 Vimy Ridge oak trees throughout Prince Edward Island and his home province of New Brunswick.
This year, Jim is continuing to honour our First World War veterans by cycling 1,000 kilometres across Belgium and France, raising money for the Alzheimer Society in Saint John. He calls his trek the One Thousand Kilometre Memory Ride.
Jim began his trek on Prince Edward Island, and in New Brunswick, his home base, on September 20, cycling 400 kilometres through those provinces and planting oak trees in ceremonies along the way. He arrived in Ypres on October 1, picking up his bicycle for the European part of his tour.
Over the next 10 days, Jim cycled 600 kilometres through Belgium and France, spending time visiting battlefields and monuments along the way and posting stirring photographs and videos of his travels on his Facebook page, which I invite you to visit.
He ultimately finished by planting his Vimy Ridge oak tree in a park in the city of Arras, just a short distance from the Vimy Ridge memorial.
Honourable senators, year after year individuals like Jim Landry have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to honouring the memories of Canada’s fallen. Please join me in recognizing Jim Landry’s efforts and his journey of remembrance through the battlefields of France and Belgium.