ARCHIVED - HLCol journeys from coast to coast honouring and preserving Canada’s military past and present

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Article / October 18, 2013 / Project number: 13-0066

Sudbury, Ontario — “Soldiers gave their lives for our freedoms. I just want to ensure, in my own way, that the legacy and sacrifices of the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces are preserved and honoured.” That’s how Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Kevin McCormick explains the motivation behind Project Honour and Preserve, his initiative to locate lost war medals and memorabilia and return them to families or donate them to regiments and museums.

The idea for Project Honour and Preserve began at an auction where Canadian medals and other historical military artifacts were being sold. HLCol McCormick bought up what he could. This led to the purchase of other items and, over time, he began to amass an extensive collection, including war medals, letters and small pieces of uniforms from fallen soldiers.

The point is to ensure those memories are honoured for future generations to learn from. It helps create an understanding of what the men and women did then. And it connects us to our current soldiers around the world and in Canada today,” says HLCol McCormick, who represents the 2nd Battalion, Irish Regiment of Canada, based in Sudbury, Ontario.

Artifacts in tow, HLCol McCormick embarked on a cross-country tour in April. He has reunited families from Vancouver to New Brunswick with medals and letters from loved ones, made significant contributions to museums and regiments and has raised awareness about Canada’s military history.

While his work continues, he has already turned some heads. His efforts were recognized in the House of Commons on April 30 and he has received praise for his work across the country.

I am a proud member of the Army in an honorary role. The freedoms I have are based on people who served and are currently serving. I think understanding this is important and I will continue to try to support that,” says HLCol McCormick.

I have really been inspired by the spirit of Canadians who have gotten involved. I have met some really great people. Everyone has a story, whether it is a mother talking about a son or a child talking about a grandfather, it is all a part of our history.” 

This past May, HLCol McCormick presented medals and accoutrements from Lance Corporal Henry Horricks, a former member of the Army military police and a Second World War veteran, to the Canadian Armed Forces’ Military Police Group. At the time little was known about LCpl Horricks, so HLCol McCormick issued a challenge to the Military Police Group to find out more about him. They successfully located LCpl Horricks’s son in Belleville Ontario, and on October 10 HLCol McCormick presented the medals of LCpl Horricks to his son Willard who is now in his seventies.

I was surprised by how much effort went into it and everything. My children were with me and they all were very impressed. I thought they went to an awful lot of trouble,” says Willard Horricks. “It was a very good experience and I am really happy that they went to all the trouble that they did.” 

By Ryan Ferrara and Samantha Bayard, Army Public Affairs

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