VE Day ceremony in CSL: a wonderful tribute to our veterans

Members of the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 of the Royal Canadian Legion, Mayor Anthony Housefather, the Côte Saint-Luc city council, dignitaries, veterans and residents  commemorated Victory in Europe (V-E) Day on Sunday, May 5 at Veterans Park. Weather conditions could not  have been more beautiful.
“My generation and those of my children and grandchildren will never be able to fully pay back the Canadian soldiers who fought to defeat tyranny during the Second World War,” said Ruth Kovac, who was   the co-chairperson of this event with Councillor Allan J. Levine. “By liberating Europe our veterans also ended the genocide against the Jewish population of Europe and others targeted by the Nazis.” 
Councillor Levine said we must continue to honour those who have served and those families who lost loved ones for our country. 
Victory in Europe (V-E) Day was May 8, 1945, the date when the Second World War Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The cenotaph at Veterans Park honours the memory of those who gave their lives in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. 
This year’s commemoration was conducted by Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 President, Frank Levine.  Among those participating in the laying of wreaths were Mayor Housefather, TMR Mayor Phillipe Roy, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg, D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman, District 2 resident  Howard Liebman (representing Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler), Israeli Deputy Consul Alon Melchior, Netherlands Honourary Consul Michael Polak, United States Consul Ian Sheridan, CSL Councillor Glenn J. Nashen (pictured), Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette.
"For those present who have not experienced war I am glad you were spared that sorrow," said Frank Levine (pictured with me and Veteran Solomon Susser). "Unfortunately the world has not divested itself of dictators."
Bergman quite appropriately took a shot at the PQ government for the disrespect it has shown for our present-day military via Bill 14, proposed hardline amendments to our language law. Bergman reminded us how the PQ wants to prevent the children of Canadian soldiers based in Quebec from attending English schools.
For nine years  Liebman has run Cotler's riding office as chief of staff. Cotler was in Jerusalem to celebrate the Bat Mitzvah of his grand-daughter and also to receive a prestigious human rights award at the World Union of Progressive Judaism this morning. 

 "As Professor Cotler has signalled time and again over the past two years, an unspeakable battle rages today in Syria with close to 100,000 killed – before our very eyes," Liebman stated. " In Ahmadinejad`s Iran we continue to witness a four-fold threat – genocidal incitement; nuclear; global terrorism  -and we saw just this weekend a shipment of missiles from Iran to Hezbollah - and massive domestic repression against the peoples and publics of Iran.Professor Cotler rose again in Parliament last week to ask how the government of Canada could rise in Canadian Courts to invoke State Immunity to immunize Iran from the claims for redress of Canadian victims of Iranian state terror and torture thanks to a new law he has promoted for these victims. We can all be proud of the global leadership of our local MP – who was the driving force behind a unanimous report of the Foreign Affairs Committee adopted by our House of Commons on Iran – as he continues to work tirelessly to address this greatest of threats to international peace and security."

Remembrance Day in Côte Saint-Luc

When I was young I remember attending many Remembrance Day ceremonies in Côte Saint-Luc. But as our veterans got older and November 11 repeatedly fell on a day in which the air was cold, the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch #97 decided to have our large commemoration for VE Day in May. At this time the weather is warmer and the attendance always much larger.


Remembrance Day has certainly continued in Côte Saint-Luc. Over the last many years it has fallen on a weekday. As a result the attendance was very low.

This year November 11 did fall on a  Sunday. It was cool outside, but not uncomfortable. The sun was shining and there were those remarkable veterans who still reside in CSL, looking as youthful as ever. Mayor Anthony Housefather was there, along with members of council Steven Erdelyi, Ruth Kovac, Mitchell Brownstein and myself. Federal Liberal Member of Parliament Irwin  Cotler was on hand, as was District 2 resident Martin Bogante (below), representing Liberal MNA for D'Arcy McGee Lawrence Bergman. Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette in full uniform joined us.


There was a good crowd but as I looked around I saw no youth. I am only comforted by the fact that I know many schools had veterans visit their classes earlier in the week.

Frank Levine, the president of our Legion, served as the emcee. We had veterans march to the front of our Veterans Park with the flag of honour. A trumpeteer played the last post. We all sang O Canada together and Mayor Housefather asked us to remember those who fought for this country and are no longer with us.


The fact that we still do have so many men who served our country in WWII is a treasure and one we must embrace.










V-E Day an important occasion for us to remember

The annual Victory in Europe (V-E) Daycommemoration ceremony in Côte Saint-Luc took place on Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 2 pm at Veterans Park.  The Master of Ceremony was Frank Levine, a veteran of the Second World War and local Legion president. The event co-chairpersons were councillors Allan J. Levine and Ruth Kovac.


The City of Côte Saint-Luc and the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 of the Royal Canadian Legion organize the V-E Day event, which commemorates the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany.

Victory in Europe (V-E) Day was May 8, 1945, the date when the Second World War Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The cenotaph at Veterans Park honours the memory of those who gave their lives in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. 

What is always so remarkable about this event is the presence of so many veterans who are still with us today, most of whom reside in Côte Saint-Luc. The likes of former Mayor Bernard Lang, Jack Budovitch (very bottom right), Bill Taylor, George Nashen, Willie Glazer (below with me), Michael Kutz and others. They were all outfitted GeorgeWillyin their military attire.Over the last few years, folks like Manny Gottlieb, Bob Feldstein, Kek Rosenblat, Carl Garber and Joseph Blumer have left us. I refer to them specifically for during my years on council they were among the individuals who fought so hard for Veterans Park to become a reality.

This was a dignified ceremony that lasts less than an hour. Weather conditions could not have been nicer. Among those laying wreaths was CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Howard Liebman (representing Liberal MP Irwin Cotler), Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie and a number of diplomatic representatives. This included CSL resident Joel Lion, the fabulous Consul General of Israel.

Many of us lamented about the fact there were few very young people in the audience, since they are learning about the World Wars in history class. This would have been a class of true authentic learning. Councillor Steven Erdelyi did bring his adorable little girl Bailey (far bottom left), who was very well behaved.


"The legacy of a veteran is we fought so you may know peace," Frank Levine declared. "I urge young people to do your best so we can move away from armed conflict." 


CSL holds annual VE Day commemoration

Côte Saint-Luc is fortunate to have a very active group of war veterans. The Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch #97 has indeed lost many members over the last few years. I can think of a few of my own constituents like Kek Rosenblatt and Joe Blumer.  I remembered these gentleman today, not to mention their longtime leader Robert Feldstein, as we gathered at Veteran’s Park to commemorate VE Day.

VE DAy2011
Victory in Europe was celebrated across North America on   May 8,  1945 after Germany's unconditional surrender. In cities and towns across Canada, thousands of people turned out to express their joy and relief at the news. Religious services of thanksgiving were held and people celebrated with cheers and tickertape. Two earlier reports that the Germans had surrendered primed the populace for celebration. The first, on  April 28, was erroneous; the second, on the morning of  May 8, was merely premature.

The military surrender agreement for the German forces was signed in Rheims, France, at 2:41 Cam local time on  May 7, 1945 by Colonel General Gustav Jodl, the German army's chief of staff; Lt-Gen Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for the Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Ivan Susloparov for the Soviet Union; and General François Sevez for France. Allied headquarters ordered the news to be withheld for 24 hours, although Germany announced the surrender.

The celebrating started across North America on  May 7, but subsided when people learned it had not been confirmed. When confirmation did come at 9 am EDT on   May  8, celebrations resumed, in many places even more fervently than the day before. Many cities had prepared for the announcement by ordering that liquor stores and drinking establishments be closed when the announcement came, but in Halifax and Dartmouth the celebrating got out of hand, resulting in the VE-Day Riots. Canada's third war in less than half a century was nearing its end. The atomic bomb and victory in the Pacific were only four months away.

In Côte Saint-Luc the weather could not have been nicer for our 2011 ceremony.  A nice crowd was on hand at Veteran’s Park, right next to City Hall. Mayor Anthony Housefather made a speech praising our veterans. Dignitaries representing different countries, associations, municipalities and even local police commander Sylvain Bissonnette laid wreaths.

We are so fortunate to have these war veterans still in our midst. Sadly, as the neverending war in Afghanistan shows us, this country will have war veterans for many, many years to come.

Remembrance Day

Councillor Ruth Kovac and myself represented city council today at a Remembrance Day ceremony at Veteran's Park in Cöte  Saint-Luc. There were a number of vets from Brigadier Kisch Branch #97 on hand. We are very fortunate to have these gentlemen, who fought overseas all those years ago, in our midst. Among them was former Mayor Bernard Lang. Councillor Kovac, Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and myself laid a wreath. For Councillor Kovac it was an emotional experience. She was born in Holland and came to Canada as a baby.


Poor weather does not stop VE Day Ceremony in CSL

It is not customary to have snow falling on the eight of May. But that is exactly what Mother Nature brought us this year, along with some rain and chilly temperatures. Not exactly what Mayor Anthony Housefather and members of the Côte Saint-Luc city council had in mind for our annual Victory in Europe (V-E) Day ceremony.VeteransMay9

Our Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with event  co-chairs Councillors Ruth Kovac and Allan J. Levine, wisely decided to move the program indoors to our Council Chambers. That is too bad, especially since we created Veterans Park only a few years ago right next door to City Hall.

It was a wise decision and we had an absolutely excellent event as a number of dignitaries joined veterans and residents for the commemoration. The master of ceremonies was Carl Garber, president of the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 of the Royal Canadian Legion.  We all remembered Robert “Bob” Feldstein, who so proudly performed these duties for many years, Bob passed away last fall.

Victory in Europe (V-E) Day was May 8, 1945, the date when the Second World War Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. The Côte Saint-Luc cenotaph was erected in memory of those who gave their lives in the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. The cenotaph was moved from the front of city hall to Veterans Park in 2007.

SamMikePolak The Royal Canadian Air Force Concert Band was superb, adding some energy to the event. Speeches were delivered by Mayor Housefather, Federal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler (having just celebrated his 70th birthday), D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Lawrence Bergman, Israeli Consul General Yoram Elron, Great Britain Consul General Patrick Holdich, United States Consul General Lee McClenny, American Legion Post 20 of Plattsburgh representative Art Magy, Rabbi Michael Wolff and Honourary Consul for the Netherlands Michael Polak. The latter noted proudly that he is a Côte Saint-Luc boy and pointed to his dad Max, a former school commissioner, Liberal MNA and Quebec judge. Both of Michael’s parents are from the Netherlands. He is pictured above with myself and Councillor Sam Goldbloom. 

It was wonderful seeing all of those war veterans in the room with us.  People like Michael Kutz, a longtime CSL resident shown with me below. They have remarkable stories to tell and we are fortunate to have them among us.




Remembrance Day 2009

I was honoured and priveleged to participate in a Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 11 at Veteran's Park next to Côte Saint-Luc City Hall. The ceremony was coordinated by the Brigadier Kisch Branch #97 of the Canadian Legion. We are very fortunate to have a large number of veterans still residing in our community. They served our country with honour.

Remembrance Day 2009MikeJordy

 Legion President Carl Garber laid a wreath with Councillor Allan J. Levine, our de facto Minister of Veteran's Affairs. Allan has taken on the Legion and Seniors portfolios on council. His late dad was a veteran so he is passionate about the subject. I laid a wreath (right) with Jordy Reichson, the city's director of public safety. We all look forward to our much larger VE Day ceremony next May.

At this event we had two present day members of the Canadian military. A soldier who has just returned from Afghanistan and a gentleman who went to school in Côte Saint-Luc and is now part of the Canadian Navy. Jonathan Lang (no relation to ex-Mayor Bernard and pictured below with me) attended the former Wagar High School. One of his teachers was none other than Allan J. Levine. Remebrance Day 2009Jonathan Lang

There was a time when we all felt that the day would come when there would not be any veterans left. Regrettably, the Canadian military must remain active abroad in peacekeeping and combat missions. In Afghanistan there have been many casualties. One day these men and women will be veterans of our present-day wars and we will honour them.

A fitting VE Day Ceremony

VetsDay2009 Councillor Cohen with (left to right) former Mayor Bernard Lang, Edward Wolkove and Michael Kutz.

The Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch No. 97 hosted its annual Victory in Europe Service (V.E. Day) commemoration  May 3 at Veteran's Park, located right next to City Hall in District 2

 A nice crowd was on hand on an absolutely beautiful day as we paid tribute to those who fought for our country so many years ago. We remain so very fortunate to still have with us so many veterans. Robert R. Feldstein once again served as the chief parade marshall and master of ceremonies. The Royal West Academy Band played the Israeli, Belgium, American and Canadian national anthems and at the conclusion, God Save The Queen.

 Laying wreaths were District 2 resident Howard Liebman (on behalf of Liberal MP for Mount Royal Irwin Cotler, for whom he serves as chief of staff),  D’Arcy McGee MNA Lawrence Bergman, Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Anthony Housefather, the Consul General for Belgium, Israeli Consul General Yoram Elron, American Consul General Lee McClenny, and a number of other special guests. Mayor Housefather delivered a speech praising our veterans, as did Mr. Bergman. Rabbi Michael Wolff, chaplain for the Legion, spoke about how his son is now serving in the Israeli army. I wish to salute the Legion, as well as event co-chairs for council Sam Goldbloom and Allan J. Levine and our city staff for once again presenting a first class event.