Fifteen Greater Sudbury citizens will have a place in the history books after being presented with Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals Friday night.
The commemorative medals were created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the Queen's ascension to the throne as Queen of Canada, Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault explained May 4, before presenting the medals at the Vale Cavern in Science North.
"The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for us to honour her majesty for her service to this country, and at the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians," Thibeault said.
"Tonight we celebrate you, your accomplishments and your willingness to give of yourself for the common good," he said to the recipients. "From working with local charities, like the food bank, to standing up for our democracy and for our environment, from doing the little things that help someone in need to the big things that make a difference in the life of thousands, each of you award recipients this evening make us all proud to call ourselves Sudburians and Canadians."
Dr. Ray Wiss was among those to be honoured with a medal. Wiss is recognized across Canada and internationally as the man who introduced ultrasound into Canadian emergency medical practice.
He has also served in the Canadian Forces as an infantry officer and later as a medic in the Forward Operating Bases, spending more time in the combat area than any other physician since the Afghan mission began.
Wiss is also the author of two books about his experience in the war.
He said he was accepting the medal on behalf of all his comrades.
"I am the public face of thousands of Canadians who have served in Afghanistan and some of whom didn't come back," he said. "I think that's what this is. It's really a reward for all of us and it's very much appreciated.
"When one veteran is singled out, we're really all being recognized, and that's what we want more than anything, is for our country to remember what we did, what we lost and what we accomplished."
He also said he had a lot of pride in his hometown and his fellow medal recipients.
"Sudbury is a great place to come from," he said. "Northern Ontario has done some great things and we've got some great people and I think we can all be proud of where we're from."
More than anything, Thibeault said presenting the citizens with the medals was an opportunity to say thank you.
"One of the things we don't do is say thank you enough, especially to the people who do great work in our community each and every day," he said. "I hope you understand this medal is with our sincere gratitude from our community."
During the year of celebrations, 60 000 Canadians will be recognized. The Chancellery of Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.
In addition to the medal, the recipients "will have their names entered into that public record for all Canadians to see and to read for decades to come," Thibeault added. "So we can always remember the great work they've been doing in our community.
The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipients:
Dr. Chris Nash
Dr. Ray Wiss
Posted by Laurel Myers