Sur­viv­ing the wars

The Compass - - NEWS - Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Death sen­tence

Sgt. Hal Evely was born in Car­bon­ear, but re­lo­cated to the United States in 1964. He knew there was a war in Viet­nam, but was un­aware he could be drafted, or “con­scripted,” as Evely de­scribed it. But he was en­listed.

Evely chose to join the re­serves so his obli­ga­tions would be one week­end a month. But he and fel­low troops in his unit were no­ti­fied on Me­mo­rial Day in 1968, they would head to Viet­nam.

The idea of go­ing to the Viet­nam War was a “death sen­tence,” said Evely. He lost many com­rades on the bat­tle­field, some­thing he said he has not for­got­ten.

Evely re­ceived a bronze medal, one of the high­est mil­i­tary hon­ours a per­son can re­ceive in the United States.

To con­clude, Evely made a strong stance against some of the Cana­dian rights and free­doms be­ing “taken away,” in­clud­ing “Merry Christ­mas” be­ing re­placed with “happy hol­i­days” in some parts of the coun­try and a Hal­loween party in On­tario was can­celled be­cause a hand­ful of chil­dren in a school did not cel­e­brate. He also stated some in­jured vet­er­ans were be­ing dis­charged from the forces early so they would be in­el­i­gi­ble for a pen­sion; call­ing it un­fair and un­just.

Evely con­cluded by wish­ing all in at­ten­dance a, “Merry Christ­mas,” some­thing he noted he fought for the right to say.

Beau­ti­ful mu­sic

The male and fe­male choirs at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate pro­duced very beau­ti­ful and har­mo­nious ver­sion of some pop­u­lar tunes.

The fe­male choir per­formed a ver­sion of “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clap­ton, and a multi-in­stru­ment ver­sion of “21 Guns” by Green Day, high­lighted by so­los from Kelsey Tuck, Amy Gilling­ham, Laura Broad­ers and Rubyanne Whe­lan.

The male choir per­formed “Border­line” by Chris de Burgh, fea­tur­ing so­los by Cody Hibbs, Bray­don Haynes, Michael White and Matthew Cooper.

Dur­ing a fi­nal slideshow pre­pared by Erin Jones, choir mem­ber Alyssa Broom­field per­formed a solo of the song “The Cruel War” by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Many cried while watch­ing the hor­rific and tragic pic­tures on the big screen.

Me­morable event

A live ren­di­tion of Last Post and Reveille was played on the trum­pet by Ge­orge Robin­son — lo­cal vol­un­teer and for­mer mu­sic teacher — be­tween the tra­di­tional mo­ment of si­lence. A re­spect­ful si­lence filled the air as stu­dents and vis­i­tors lis­tened to the som­bre sound of the trum­pet.

The 589 Car­bon­ear Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron con­cluded the cer­e­mony with God Save the Queen.

The as­sem­bly is one some won’t soon for­get — the emo­tional ad­dresses, the beau­ti­ful songs and the de­liv­ery of the tra­di­tional wreaths un­der a white cross, draped in a red cloth.

Veter­ans in at­ten­dance pro­claimed the ne­ces­sity to re­mem­ber who and what pro­vided us with free­dom — lest we not for­get.

Heart’s Con­tent Mayor Fred Cumby (left) and Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes lay a wreath at Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate.

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