Monday, May 19, 2008

Where Is the Military Display? Military Mom on a Mission- On a Quest to Find Them.

Juno Bear? Where are you?
I had the chance this weekend to seek out the displays at the Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener.
My goal was to seek out the military exhibit. Understanding that it was part of the Toyota's Fanfest, I ventured downstairs to the Arena. On the tableaux was the agenda of the day - yes, the military exhibit was on the agenda along with the times 10 am - 7 pm.
Looking around I found many phenominal displays created by local primary students of the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Continuing in my quest, I met the sculptor of the Canadian Veterans' Memorial - Timothy P. Schmalz. We had an opportunity to speak for a minute or two before he needed to return to his work.
Next to his new sculpture are a couple of motor homes on display - for sale - the cost for one of them was $288,000 by the way. (why may I ask does this have to do with the Memorial Cup? perhaps they were preparing ahead for the Sportsman Show? - not sure).
Across the arena, I spied a Veterans' booth! I must be getting warmer! There were a couple of ladies busily handing out pins and brochures. There were very helpful to my quest. To get to the military display, you needed to go outside, around the building to the otherside and down the lot a stretch. Well, I was off.
Battling cold winds, I went outside, got into my car, drove around the building to the otherside, only to be flagged down by a parking attendant asking me if my purpose was to drop someone off, if not, I was not welcome to venture up that area. I explained what my intentions were - to see the military display- that was a part of the Memorial Cup displays. I was then instructed to drive off the grounds and onto the road ajacent and perhaps there may be parking there (noting that there would be small hike involved)
The road was already full. I thought perhaps I may be able to turn onto the road that the armoury was on, (East Ave) however that road... get this... was closed! A little frustrated yet determined, I drove a few blocks away, parked the car and hiked up... my quest was almost finished. I saw the armoury ahead, and the display? It was in a field adjacent to the auditorium.. outside! There were a couple of tables (same as INSIDE the auditorium) that held information about the mission in Afghanistan, as well as lanyards, keychains, note pads, etc.

Who decided on this location?
There should have been more people/visitors to the display.
The display should have been highly accessible (both for parking and people) and visible.
The display should have been indoors - rather than the 2 motorhomes occupying space.
Why was it put outside in an empty field outside of the auditorium?

After all, the Military is very significant to the Memorial Cup. The Memorial Cup was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in 1919 as a memorial and honour of the Canadians who fought and died in the First World War. The Memorial Cup and its message of remembrance are as relevant today as they were nine decades ago. And this is the way our military is treated?
Put them in a field with only the blowing winds able to access them?
Our military should have a greater presence in the arenas and Auditorium than what was displayed. Our soldiers were put out of sight and in an inaccessible area. I will remember this when I look at the poppy on the logos advertising the cup.

So, if you are interested in visiting with our soldiers, let me help you out.
Drive onto East Ave (where it says Road Closed) and park in front of the Armoury - that is if there are any spots left. The display is in between the armoury and the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
If there are no parking spots left, then parking may be available on Stirling (going away from the Aud)

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Oh! The soldiers I met were very informative ; especially Richards who with vast knowledge took the time and presented each vehicle to me. Thank you Richards.


wjcatnip said...

I'm much better at reading your posts than making comments, but wanted to say "thanks" again. This valuable display deserved better.

Military Mom said...

Thanks for reading.. and your comment :) I happened to be by the area yesterday and the troops are still braving the cold in the field - busily keeping the handouts from blowing away - still apart from the displays and festivities of the Memorial Cup.
Their dedication and display requires better exposure rather than the roadblocks presented to them.