BY KAYLA PERRY
Dr. Kevin McCormick, president of Huntington University and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Irish Regiment of Canada (above), is dedicated to ensuring the sacrifices made by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces is not only preserved, but also honoured by this and future generations of Canadians.
On April 16, he began an 18-month personal mission to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One by travelling across the country making personal donations of items of historic value to museums, military associations and units as well as reuniting medals and personal effect with family members.
McCormick will be making hundreds of donations of various items, such as the Memorial Cross, Victory Medal and meritorious service decorations as well as hundreds of personal effects from fallen soldiers, which he has personally purchased with his own resources in order to ensure that the “rich history of the Canadian military is both honoured and preserved as a lesson for both this generations and for generations to follow.”
The collections that will be presented to museums, military units, veterans’ associations, families and many other organizations are extremely expensive where some of the items purchased with his own personal money.
McCormick notes “the financial value is not what is important to him, but rather the personal cost and sacrifice embodied in each and every item is the intrinsic value that transcends time and is truly priceless.
“I am both humbled and privileged to do a small part to thank and honour the sacrifices made by the members of the Canadian Forces as well as the contributions made by their families and loved ones.”
McCormick’s goal throughout his travels will also raise awareness for the need to preserve military history and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One on July 28, 2014.
The first of donations were April 16, in Vancouver to the Seaforth Highlanders, a light infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. (See photo) The donations include a presentation of rare medals and personal effects from one of Seaforth Highlander’s past member, Sgt. J.I. Thompson as well as a financial donation to their military museum.
His last donation will be made July 28 2014 be at a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa.
The university president will also be establishing and personally funding a number of national awards to encourage the preservation of Canadian Military History such as e scholarships for students studying in the area of Canadian Military History.