NY American Legion vets offered free trip to Canadian War Museum, Memorial
By TOM GRASER | Watertown Daily Times, N.Y. | Published: August 10, 2017
ST. REGIS FALLS, N.Y. (Tribune News Service) — For months, Lanny H. Gagnier, Franklin County vice commander of the American Legion, has been cooking up a plan to get area veterans a cross-border trip with the Royal Canadian Legion. Now the last detail has been put in place and Mr. Gagnier can spread the word.
On Aug. 26, Mr. Gagnier will lead a group of veterans to Ottawa where they will visit the Canadian National War Museum, the Canadian National War Memorial and have a meal with their Canadian counterparts, hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion.
The veterans will travel caravan style, in private vehicles, starting in Potsdam at 9 a.m. at the Premier Bus Terminal on Pine Street.
There will be carpooling available, Mr. Gagnier said.
The group will head to Ogdensburg where they will meet up in the Walmart parking lot with another bunch of veterans and cross over into Canada.
No passport is necessary, Mr. Gagnier said. He has checked with Canadian Border Services Agencies and been assured this group will be allowed entry with a birth certificate and a photo ID.
Once in Canada, the group will stop first at the Canadian War Museum, where free entry has been arranged for veterans. Guests need only pay $9.50 Canadian for an entry ticket that normally costs $39.
"The museum is incredible," Mr. Gagnier said.
At the museum, the group will be greeted and briefed by Joel Vansnick, Royal Canadian Legion Zone G5 Commander. The group will be given a guided tour of the museum that lasts approximately three hours.
Mr. Gagnier urges anyone that needs assistance with mobility to bring walkers or whatever equipment they need.
"The museum will inspire, it will educate and it will leave you with an incredible feeling about the military in Canada." Mr. Gagnier said.
The group will leave the museum at 2:45 p.m. and visit the Canadian National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Confederation Square, overlooking the Canadian Parliament.
They will watch the changing of the guard and then the American Legion and the Royal Canadian Legion will hold a joint ceremony at the tomb. Afterward there will be a brief tour of the area followed by a barbecue put on by the Canadian Legion.
"It is all absolutely free," Mr. Gagnier stressed, "This will be a day of unity between the American Legion and our friends in the Royal Canadian Legion."
The Canadian War Museum is Canada's national museum of military history, according to its website. The museum's exhibits are designed to show the human experience of war.
The National War Memorial is the focal point of Confederation Square and commemorates Canadians killed in all conflicts.
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