Re­mem­brance Day Vigil

Air Cadets stand watch at ceno­taph for 12 hours

Tillsonburg News - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Ab­bott cab­bott@post­media.com

Till­son­burg’s 12-hour Re­mem­brance Day Vigil is not new, just new to the cur­rent Var­navair 153 Air Cadets.

“It’s from 9 at night, the night be­fore Re­mem­brance Day, till 9 a.m. on Re­mem­brance Day,” said Flight Sergeant Justin Bell. “It’s to pro­long the re­mem­brance of all the sol­diers that fought for us and died for us.”

Ten air cadets par­tic­i­pated in shifts at the ceno­taph on Broad­way, in­clud­ing Flight Sergeant Bell and Flight Cor­po­ral Jor­dan Esper who shared the fi­nal shift end­ing on Nov. 11, less than two hours be­fore the town’s reg­u­lar Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­mony would take place.

“Hour-and-a-half shifts,” noted Flight Cor­po­ral Esper.

“You did your first half hour, then you had a half-hour break, then you went back on for an­other half hour,” said Flight Sergeant Bell. “It was nice, you had time to think, you had time to re­flect, it was a good night.”

It may have been decades since Var­navair’s last vigil at the ceno­taph.

“First time in a few years,” said Flight Cor­po­ral Esper. “I don’t re­mem­ber how long ago.”

“Our squadron did it nu­mer­ous years ago,” nod­ded Flight Sergeant Bell. “Quite a while ago.”

Lo­cated in a vis­i­ble down­town location, there were peo­ple out and about overnight and cars driv­ing past the ceno­taph on a cold night. Some stopped to pay their re­spects.

And it was cold, Flight Cor­po­ral Esper smiled.

“Nor­mally we have our parkas on,” said Flight Sergeant Bell. “This was our last shift so we just de­cided to take them off.”

Chris Ab­bott/Till­son­burg news

Air Cadets from Var­navair Squadron 153, Flight Sergeant Justin Bell (left) and Flight Cor­po­ral Jor­dan Esper, stand watch at the ceno­taph in Till­son­burg Satur­day morn­ing, the fi­nal shift of a 12-hour Re­mem­brance Day Vigil for 10 air cadets.

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