Remembering the unforgettable

Residents gathered at Hillside Cemetery to honour three local brothers who fought in the War of 1812.

The commemoration and dedication of grave markers for Sergeant Mathew Haney, Private James Haney, and Private Leonard Haney, took place over 200 years after their guns went silent.

The entire ceremony was the combined work of family members, historians and residents.

Barbara Haney, a descendant of Leonard Haney, began digging into her family’s background. Having heard tales of their bravery around the dinner table, she wanted to find out the back story behind her ancestors.

Though she resides in Alaska, she used social media and other online sources to come into contact with the Graveside Project. Thousands of hours later, she officially submitted the application for grave markers and was accepted.

The Graveside Project aims to bring those who were forgotten back into the spotlight. The non-profit group have come together to ensure that the War of 1812 veterans get the recognition that they deserve, not only in the defence of Canada, but also for their dedication in building the foundation of the Canada that everyone lives in today.

“The project was created by three men with a passion for history and it’s quickly grown larger,” Sharon Dell of the Heritage Arts Legacy Committee said. “This recognition of these three brothers are in honour of their service to Canada.”

They fill a gap in Canadian’s knowledge about the far reaching effects of the War of 1812 on the nation. Dell says the graves of veterans of the War of 1812 will bring an awareness of this time in Canadian history to light in communities that have no other link to the War of 1812, while providing information to future students on the impact each soldier had.

“It’s so important this Graveside Project because many of the soldiers have never been recognized for their war effort.”

The plaque each brother received share similarities to those on the Upper Canada Preserved medal, created in 1813 for soldiers after the war.

The Haney brother’s settled in Pelham after the war but never received that medal. However, thanks to the dedication of many hardworking volunteers, the three were finally recognized in the highest honour 200 years after the war.

“They are finally recognized by a grateful country.”

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The Voice of Pelham
Pelham's independent news source from the heart of Niagara.