Joan Cracknell, Airwoman with RCAF Women's Division in Ottawa. (Provided by Emily Jolliffe)Joan Cracknell, Airwoman with RCAF Women's Division in Ottawa. (Provided by Emily Jolliffe)

Billy Bishop Museum honouring 100-year-old veteran at Plaque Return

The Billy Bishop Museum is preparing for the Plaque Return on June 14. The Plaque Return is a ceremony honouring local veterans by sharing their story.

Right before Remembrance Day, plaques are presented to them, which then travel all around Owen Sound.

"They've often been at Heritage Place Mall, the MP's office, outside of the Owen Sound Secondary School library, as well as the Great North Union Library and retirement communities like Seasons and Kelso Villa," said Emily Jolliffe, Director and Chief Curator for the museum.

The Plaque Return is when they finish their travels and are returned to the hands of families and veterans.

At this year's ceremony, Joan Cracknell will be in attendance. Cracknell was an Airwoman with Royal Canadian Armed Forces Women's Division in Ottawa during World War II.

"She just turned 100, so it's really special to have her," said Jolliffe. "If people can come out and show their support and respect for her, that would be really wonderful to make the day very special."

Other veterans, serving all over the world in places like Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Egypt, Syria, and more, will also be highlighted, according to Jolliffe. Many have 35+ years of service.

Attendees have the opportunity to watch the ceremony and chat with the vets after, something that is very encouraged.

Jolliffe says the event is very special for those who have served.

"It means a lot to them because it means somebody is listening to them," she said. "It makes them feel appreciated and heard, which I think we can all appreciate how important it is to feel heard. Especially in a job like serving in the Armed Forces, where you put yourself and your life on the line over and over again, as well as the emotional weight it has on your family."

Coffee and cookies will be available at the ceremony. It begins at 2 p.m. at the Billy Bishop Museum and everyone is welcome.

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