Introducing the Liberty Rose: A Tribute to Freedom and Sacrifice

We are thrilled to introduce a new edition to Beechwood Cemetery, - the Liberty Rose. This beautiful and symbolic rose hybridized by Brad Jalbert to honour those who have fought for and preserved our liberty and freedoms. This rose is a testament to the sacrifices made by countless individuals and carries a story that resonates deeply with the principles of remembrance and hope.

The Inspiration Behind the Liberty Rose

The Liberty Rose is a unique and hardy rose, carefully designed to resemble the poppy, a universal symbol of remembrance since the First World War. The poppy gained this symbolic status through its association with the famous wartime poem “In Flanders Field,” written by Canadian soldier and surgeon John McCrae. This poem, combined with the widespread growth of poppies in the battlefields of Europe, solidified the flower’s role as a poignant reminder of those who served and sacrificed.

The Creation of the Liberty Rose

In 2017, William McCarthy, a long-time friend and patron of Brad Jalbert, commissioned Jalbert to create a rose that would honour those who served in the armed services. McCarthy, a Master Rosarian, envisioned a rose that would complement a monument dedicated to Canadians who served in Afghanistan. This monument, located at McCarthy’s property outside Mission, British Columbia, features a Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV III) that served in Afghanistan.

Jalbert embraced this challenge by focusing on creating a hardy, disease-resistant shrub rose that resembled the red poppy. Each year, Jalbert hand-propagates thousands of rose seedlings, meticulously selecting only a few for further evaluation. From these few, the Liberty Rose emerged, meeting Jalbert’s high standards for appearance, color, vigor, and disease resistance.

The Significance of the Liberty Rose

The Liberty Rose holds a special place in Jalbert’s heart, as it commemorates his grandfather’s service in the Second World War as a member of the British Columbia Regiment. This connection adds a personal layer to the rose’s significance, making it a tribute not only to all who have served but also to Jalbert’s own family history. The name “Liberty” was chosen to encapsulate the deep and profound meaning behind the rose. It symbolizes freedom, sacrifice, and service, making it a perfect tribute to those who have and will serve their countries.

The Liberty Rose in the McCarthy Collection

The Liberty Rose is part of the McCarthy Collection, a series of roses commissioned by William McCarthy and hybridized by Brad Jalbert. This collection includes several noteworthy roses, each with its own unique story and significance. The Liberty Rose stands out as a beautiful, hardy, and vigorous shrub rose with stunning flowers and foliage, designed to evoke the image of a large red poppy.

A Monument of Remembrance

Adding to its significance, the Liberty Rose is now proudly planted in the flower beds surrounding the Tri-Service Monument at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa. This monument, unveiled on June 28, 2004, honors the men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces who have served their country with distinction. The monument features poems inscribed on each side representing the Navy, Army, and Air Force. The presence of the Liberty Rose at this monument enhances its role as a place of reflection and remembrance, ensuring that the sacrifices of service members are not forgotten.

Liberty rose

The Liberty Rose is a beautiful symbol of remembrance, hope, and freedom. It is a testament to the dedication and skill of Brad Jalbert, one of the world’s leading rose hybridizers, and the passion and vision of William McCarthy. This rose, generations in the making, is a tribute to all who have served and continue to serve in defense of liberty.

For more information about the Liberty Rose, Brad Jalbert, or William McCarthy, please visit their respective websites.

The Liberty Rose is a reminder that some things are worth fighting for and that the sacrifices made in the name of liberty should never be forgotten.