During the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the French government has organized a series of events that have taken place in France.
To celebrate this anniversary, the French government has decided to bestow awards upon some of the living Canadian veterans who participated in D-Day operations.
The Légion d’Honneur is the highest decoration that
France can bestow and, as such, it is equivalent to the
Order of Canada.
A number of prominent Canadians have been awarded the Legion of Honour, such as:
Former Governor General Michëlle Jean, Prime Minister William McKenzie King, Rear Admiral Leonard Murray (Commander in Chief of Canadian Northwest Atlantic), former Premier Jean Charest. There used to be 20 of them, and by the end of the year, there will be over 1,000.
The D-Day was this very first step that enabled liberty, justice and human dignity to break through.
Canadian and British soldiers were on the front line, and it is with extraordinary bravery and sacrifice that they landed on Normandy beaches that brought peace to the continent.
As a young man William you left your family and home to participate to the some of the fiercest battles in modern history, on a foreign soil, away from your country, to help the people of France and Europe to free themselves from the terror and tyranny.
Your accomplishments during the Second World War are a vibrant reminder of the profound and historic friendship that bond France, the UK and Canada. Our countries owe each other their very existence as free nations and this indeed creates a special relationship. The French people will never forget the act of bravery of soldiers from Canada, the UK and other allied countries during Normandy Landing to help restore our freedom.
William Peter Neale, you were born on November 1st 1923 in the United-Kingdom. He served as a Corporal, in 3205 Servicing Commando, Royal Air Force.
You landed with your unit one day after D-Day on Gold Beach, in order to provide servicing and rearming and logistical support to the Royal Air Force Typhoon force, operating from tactical airfields east of Gold Beach.
Often under fire, these commandos made an essential contribution to the success of Allied air power in the Normandy Campaign.
To you and your comrades, thank you so much for fighting at our side for freedom and democracy; thank you for making our families happy, living families; and thank you for making my land a free country.
The Consul General, Marc Trouyet
French National Order of the Legion of Honour, Mr. William Neale
I did not know what to expect and I must say that I was a little skeptical because of some of the problems that we all see on our national news programs. Did I ever have my eyes opened!
First of all he addressed the residential schools problem. Are any of you aware that most of the students who were relocated from their homes were never, in all their years at the schools, given the opportunity to go home for vacations or school breaks? In most cases their parents were never told to which school their children were sent. Just imagine how you would feel if you, as a child, were removed from the loving arms of your parents and not allowed to see or communicate with them for years and years.
How would you feel if you, as the parent, never saw your children for years and years and you did not have input in the decision to do this and no legal right to fight it or stop it? If anything happened to the child, either a serious illness or a death, the parents were never notified. How would you feel?
Another truth until now unspoken, is that the children never learned parenting skills because they never had the parents to instill these everyday skills in them. The general consensuses today is that at least ten (10) generations of children have been robbed and abused by these schools. It is believed that it will take at least the same amount of time to upgrade their skills to where they should be today. Someone said it could be at least 100 years.
Just think of the damage that was done. Think of yourselves as parents, besides teaching our children about the loving relationships between mothers and fathers and grandparents and all other relatives, we also teach the difference between right and wrong, work ethics and the other life skills parents implant in their children. All this was taken away. Totally removed.
Then to top it off, most of the children could not speak English or French and all their education was not in their native tongues. Enough about the Schools. Just remember the last Residential school closed in 1996.
Did you know that each community does everything in a circle? But our previous Federal Governments did not recognize this and felt that they should do their governing with Chief’s and Councils imposed by our Federal Government. Our indigenous friends had no vote in this.
It is their form of democracy. It works. Just about everything is divided into four, but not always. Think of a circle when you look at the following:
The circle can be divided into two or four as needed.
· Four directions –Air, Wind, Fire, Earth
· Medicine Wheel
· Wise men from the East, Beauty from the South, Darkness and Foreboding from the West, Mystery from the North
· Look at the mountains in 4 directions
· Matthew, Mark Luke and John telling us about Jesus
· The greatness of God is discovered if you look at Him from 4 directions
· They use Humility and Wisdom when looking at problem solving and the truth is sometimes very Complex and sometimes it is very Simple.
· Love and Spirituality
I could go on writing about the use of the circle in their lives because we talked and discussed this for at least 2 of the 4 presentations we attended, but I would only confuse you and myself. But I can say they do know what they are doing, if only they are given the space and time to do so.
Did you know that over 80% of the members are baptized but only 1% regularly attend church.
Do you know that there are 600 reserves and over 160 of them live with A Boil Water Advisory and have done so for many years?
Very few attain more than a grade school education and by the time they reach the 8th Grade, a lot of them start dropping out of school. Suicide, alcoholism and drug addiction are all major problems with all the younger generations.
I now strongly feel that we should not interfere in their society and their ways and we should definitely not impose our ways on them. If they need help let them ask. We can offer but in no way must we impose and we must never say we can do it better. Just think of the residential schools and how we ruined their lives. I hope and pray that each and every one who reads this gives our indigenous friends a chance, the right to self-determination without our interference.
Corporal William Peter Neale
An Eye Opening Week By: Richard O'Conor - Fenton