Sikh went war Canada: Canada’s defence minister was among these who paid tribute in Kitchener to a Sikh solider who fought for Canada in the First World War. Harjit Singh Sajjan was among about 300 dignitaries, veterans, cadets and others who stood beneath the dripping maples of Mount Hope cemetery to pay tribute to Priv. Buckam Singh, one of only Sikh allowed to serve in the Canadian army in that historic way.Singh’s grave in the military section of the Kitchener cemetery is the only known grave in Canada of a Sikh Slider and for the past nine years it has been the site of a remembrance ceremony organised by the Sikh Community. Buckam Singh came to Canada as a teenage farm laborer in 1907.
He enlisted in 1915 to fight in the First World War and was wounded twice in the battlefields of France and Belgium. But he died at age 25 in 1919 in the Freeporty military hospital from tuberculosis. Sajjan said the story of Priv. Buckam Singh’s sacrifice has a particular poignancy for him personally. The young solider was born in a Punjab village not far from where Sajjan himself was born.In remarks after the ceremony, Sajjan stressed that Canada’s efforts to make the armed forces more inclusive will not only serve as an example to all Canadians, but will make the forces more effective. “Our diversity in Canada is our strength. When we show up in uniform with that Canadian flag and you’re able to understand someone else’s culture, it sends a tremendous message,” Sajjan said.A diverse military is one that can better understand the cultures it must work with overseas, he continued. “This is not about a simple question of doing the right thing.This is an operational necessity for all of us and it will allow us, in my opinion, to help reduce conflict because you will have people that understand the cultures from around the world who are actually Canadians themselves.” Sikh went war Canada, The annual remembrance ceremony at Mount Hope Cemetery is one of the largest annual gatherings of Sikh soldiers and veterans in North America.
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