Valerie McGrady was inspired to create Canada's first Bravery Park after the passing of her son Cpl. Mathew McCully. McCully was a member of Canada's elite Operational Mentoring and Liason Team (OMLT), responsible for training the Afghan National forces. On May 25, 2007 while conducting a joint Afghan-Canadian foot patrol near a village west of Kandahar city, McCully stepped on an improvised explosive device. Valerie's son died not only trying to protect his country but training Afghan soldiers to protect their own. Valerie and the Bravery Park committee have since made it their mission to ensure Canadian soldiers stay at the forefront of our minds.
Through this living and interactive project, Bravery Park will promote both awareness and understanding of the sacrifices & struggles our Canadian Forces undergo to promote peace here at home and worldwide.
More soldiers committed suicide than died fighting in Afghanistan...
- 159 Canadian Armed Forces members were killed in Afghanistan
- 178 soldiers committed suicide
- 2,250 of Canada's veterans are homeless due to alcoholism, drugs and mental health.
In relation to their curriculum requirements, teachers will bring their elementary and secondary students to Bravery Park for a tangible connection to some of our most recent international aid and peace keeping missions.
- In 2001, at the start of our mission in Afghanistan, 5000 girls were enrolled in school
- In 2011, by the end of our mission, 2.7 million girls were enrolled in school
Spurred on by the many international conflicts in which Canada is involved, Peter Prakke, a well-known horticulturist from Ancaster Ontario, was inspired to have parks called "Bravery Parks" as a tribute to the men and women of the Canadian Forces for their courage, their dedication to freedom and recognizing the sacrifices they have made to make this a better world for all of us. Peter's knowledge and support is greatly appreciated. For more information about the allergy friendly plants Peter champions, please visit his website-safe gardening.