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New street name honours veterans

Dorothy Westerman
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 09/05) - Yellowknife is known for street names that honour citizens who have been part of the city's history.

But renaming of a portion of 49th Ave. to Veterans Memorial Drive is a way to reflect and remember the sacrifice made by all veterans, said Lloyd Lush, president of the Royal Canadian Legion in Yellowknife, which initiated the name change.

"We need to recognize our veterans in the NWT," Lush said.

As various parts of Canada name highways for their veterans, so should Yellowknife, he said.

After months of planning and then approaching the city to allow the name change, it has now become a reality, he said.

"We went to the city and here it is," Lush said proudly of Veterans Memorial Drive.

"It's a great honour to stand by those veterans."

Several dozen people attended an unveiling ceremony Sunday on the newly named street.

The new Veterans Memorial Drive name encompasses a three-block stretch, from the former site of Gerry Murphy arena to the Yellowknife courthouse.

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said the renaming is part of the cumulative effect of many years of recognizing and honouring the veterans. "It's a visible recognition by the city of the contributions that people like the legion are continuing to make," Van Tighem said.

Yellowknife RCMP Supt. Pat McCloskey said the renaming is "a fantastic tribute" on behalf of the city towards the veterans.

"Even though we had to change our stationery and business cards, we do it with great pride," McCloskey said.

Next to the RCMP headquarters on the newly named street is Canadian Forces Northern Area.

Lt.-Col. Paul Fleet, 440 Squadron Commander, said considering this is the Year of the Veteran, changing the name is "very appropriate."

"It will be there for youth to be reminded of the sacrifices made by our women and men during wartime," Fleet said.

Veteran Jack Adderly said a street with a number has no meaning at all.

"It has a real name for it now," Adderly said. "I think it is something that will stay in the memory of people and that is the whole idea," he said. "I think it's a good idea," said the veteran of the Second World War and Korean War. This is a good day for veterans."