a.m., Nov. 12)
turnout for local Remembrance Day ceremonies
By Fred Sherwin
MP Royal Galipeau lays a wreath at the Orléans Legion cenotaph during Remebrance
Day ceremonies on Saturday. Fred Sherwin/Photo
the inclement weather hundreds of local residents turned out at local Remembrance
Day ceremonies in Navan, Cumberland Village and Orléans on Saturday to honour
the many men and women who have served their country over the years in both
wartime and peace.
One of the largest
crowds in recent memory stood in the pouring rain to take in the annual
Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in Navan.
was emceed by Bob Parsons, a native of Navan and a member of the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission. During the proceedings, Parsons read some of the
inscriptions he's copied down over the years off the crosses which mark
the grave sites of Canadians buried overseas.
took a moment to tell the story of Squadron Leader Ian Bazalgette who was
awarded the Victoria Cross for trying to land his badly damaged bomber and
save the lives of two injured crewmen. All three men died in the attempt,
but Bazalgette managed to avoid crashing into a small French town.
The Navan ceremony
also included a reciting of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields"
by Heritage Public School students Brianna Champagne and Victoria Dark,
while the lesser known verse,"High Flight" by Pilot Officer John
Magee was read by Megan MacDonald and Marissa Lacroix.
Among the wreath
bearers were William Shaw who laid the WWI wreath in honour of his great-uncle
Garrett Shaw who was killed in the Great War, and Leonard resident Victor
Mount who is a veteran of the Second World War.
Fellow WWII veteran
Eric Smith, laid a wreath in honour of the servicemen and women who died
during the Korean War in which he also served. In fact, Mr. Smith is one
of only five Canadians still alive who completed a tour of duty in both
the Korean War and the Second World War as a fighter pilot.
about all the friends I had and the ones I lost and all the good times we
shared," Smith said afterwards when asked what Remembrance Day means
to him after so many years.
Village, local WWII veteran Angus Wilson recited "In Flanders Fields",
while fellow veteran Dr. I.F. Kennedy, whose younger brother Carleton died
in the war, read out the names of the fallen.
Later on, Dr.
Kennedy took a turn at the piano and serenaded the crowd at a reception
at the Lions Maple Hall with several wartime melodies including "It's
a long way to Tipperary".
Day ceremony at the Orléans Legion in the Taylor Creek Business Park
has traditionally drawn the largest crowd. On Saturday well
over 900 people gathered at the cenotaph to take in this year's proceedings
which were led off with the singing of "O Canada" by members of
the Cumberland Community Singers.
Among the VIPs
in attendance were Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau, MPP Phil McNeely,
Ottawa Mayor Bob Chiarelli and councillors Rainer Bloess, Bob Monette and
Michel Bellemare. A smattering of World War II veterans were also on hand
including Ernie Schnubb who laid a wreath at the foot of the cenotaph in
honour of all WWII vets.
Over 61,000 Canadians
died in the First World War at a time when the population of Canada was
just eight million. Forty-two thousand men and women perished during the
Second World War. But many of the people in attendance at the local ceremonies
were there to show their support for the men and women currently serving
in Afghanistan and the 42 who have died since 2002.
start coming until about five years ago when I first started bringing the
kids and we haven't missed one since," said Bill Reuben from Orléans.
"I just think its important that we support our troops in any way we
can and this is my way."
MP Royal Galipeau says the meaning of Remembrance Day has evolved for many
people over the years, especially among the younger generation.
about old men who served in WWII anymore, it's about young men who are risking
their lives for peace and freedom every day," says Galipeau. "When
you think of it, it's my generation which benefited from the sacrifices
that our fathers and uncles made and yet we least appreciated it. When I
see the sacrifices that these young people are making, and I'm not even
talking about the ones who are killed and wounded, It's hard to imagine.
I don't think I could do it."
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