Pem­broke pauses to re­mem­ber

Clear, cold, solemn and dig­ni­fied - Le­gion Branch 72 con­ducts cer­e­monies at ceno­taph

The Daily Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STEPHEN UHLER

Pem­broke’s cit­i­zens joined their fel­low Cana­di­ans in tak­ing the time to re­mem­ber.

Bright skies and chilly tem­per­a­tures greeted the hun­dreds of peo­ple of all ages who gath­ered at the city’s ceno­taph Sat­ur­day morn­ing to ob­serve Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­monies, held to com­mem­o­rate Canada’s mil­i­tary sac­ri­fices past and present.

The crowd watched mem­bers of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch 72 who, led by the Le­gion Colour Party, Pem­broke Le­gion Com­mu­nity Band and the Branch 72 Stu­art Tay­lor Fam­ily Pipe Band, made the trip up from the Pem­broke Le­gion to as­sem­ble at the mon­u­ment. They were ac­com­pa­nied by troops from Gar­ri­son Petawawa, as well as mem­bers of both 2677 Royal Cana­dian Army Cadet Corps and 638 Al­go­nquin Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron, emer­gency ser­vices work­ers and oth­ers.

Af­ter Lt. Kath Walker of the Sal­va­tion Army led the as­sem­bly in prayer and a scrip­ture read­ing, Stan Hal­l­i­day, Branch 72 pres­i­dent, asked ev­ery­one on hand to pause for a few mo­ments to think rev­er­ently of those who laid down their lives for their Sov­er­eign and coun­try.

“Their sac­ri­fice will ever in­spire us to labour on, to the end that those who sur­vived and need our aid may be as­sured of as­sis­tance and the coun­try for which they died may ever be wor­thy of the sac­ri­fice they made,” he said.

Gord Tapp, di­rec­tor of the Le­gion Band, played The Last Post on his trum­pet, which, ac­com­pa­nied by a vol­ley of fire from a 105 mm how­itzer op­er­ated by mem­bers of 42nd Field Reg­i­ment, marked the be­gin­ning of two min­utes of si­lence in hon­our of the dead. Piper Hugh Briand played the lament, af­ter which a sec­ond vol­ley in­di­cated the end of the si­lence.

Hal­l­i­day then spoke on how the red poppy of Flan­ders has been im­mor­tal­ized as an em­blem of sac­ri­fice and re­mem­brance for hon­our­ing the thou­sands who laid down their lives for those ideals Cana­di­ans cher­ish.

“The poppy calls upon us to re­mem­ber not only those who died, but also those who are left de­pen­dent, and those who still suf­fer from honourable wounds and dis­abil­i­ties,” he said. “The poppy chal­lenges us to serve in peace as in war, to help those who need our pro­tec­tion.”

Af­ter this, ac­com­pa­nied by the mu­sic played by the Le­gion band, the lay­ing of wreaths com­menced, as groups, or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als brought for­ward their trib­utes to Canada’s fallen, lay­ing them gently at the foot of the stone ceno­taph.

Hal­l­i­day con­cluded the ser­vice by stat­ing “may we ever strive to pro­mote unity and the spirit of com­rade­ship, never for­get­ting the solemn obli­ga­tions we have as­sumed as mem­bers of The Royal Cana­dian Le­gion.”

“Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, lest we for­get, lest we for­get,” he said.

Once the cer­e­mony ended, the crowds first ap­plauded the sol­diers and oth­ers as­sem­bled as they marched away from the ceno­taph, then be­gan to dis­perse. Many mem­bers of the pub­lic came for­ward to lay­ing their pop­pies on the mon­u­ment’s steps, or fix­ing them to the wreaths and crosses placed there. SUh­ler@post­media.com

STEPHEN UHLER/DAILY OB­SERVER

Didi Leonard, pres­i­dent of Branch 72's Ladies Aux­il­iary, left, and Shirley King, the Sil­ver Cross Mother, lay a wreath dur­ing Sat­ur­day's Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­monies in Pem­broke. Sil­ver Cross Moth­ers rep­re­sent those moth­ers who lost chil­dren in war. More Re­mem­brance Day pho­tos on page A6.

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