For me, Remembrance Day is a very poignant time.
We proudly wear the red poppy in remembrance of those who have fallen in the conflicts that have taken place during our country’s history. When we think about those who have served our country in times of conflict, and the many who died in that service, many of us are filled with feelings of melancholy. This year, we are also reminded of the tragic events that took place in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and many of us have shown our support for those in uniform by wearing our poppies early and by leaving flowers and notes at cenotaphs and monuments across the country.
This year marked the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I and the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy in World War II.
Here in Burlington, we had a ceremony to dedicate an additional monument to the Naval Ships Memorial Monument at Spencer Smith Park to honour the memory of the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Marine seamen and their ships that were lost during the Korean War.
Many of us connect Remembrance Day with our own personal history – a family member or friend who was lost or fought, often in the major conflicts of World Wars I and II and the Korean War.
But we must also remember there are many Canadians who have served in other conflicts as well as brave men and women who currently serve our country to ensure our freedom and the freedom of people of all nations.
Personally, I associate Remembrance Day with my father, my aunt, several uncles and my father-in-law. I am reminded of their experiences and stories each time I encounter a veteran, attend a function at the Royal Canadian Legion, or participate in any of the special services conducted on Remembrance Day and to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic. While these are often sad stories, they are also inspirational stories of great courage and fortitude and are told with great pride.
I am also reminded at this time of the significant role of the Royal Canadian Legion who work tirelessly to promote Remembrance through the Annual Poppy Campaign that serves to remind us all of the thousands of men and women who have given their lives in wars and military missions around the world. I wear the poppy with great pride and think about my family and the veterans I have known over my lifetime.
On November 11 there will be two ceremonies held to mark Remembrance Day in Burlington. A Sunrise Remembrance Day Service led by the Burl-Oak Naval Veterans will take place at 9 am at Spencer Smith Park at the Naval Ships Memorial Monument. All are welcome to attend. For additional information, please contact the Burl-Oak Naval Veterans at 905-632-3118.
Following that service, a Remembrance Day Parade begins at Central Public School at 10:30 am and continues along Brant Street to the Cenotaph at Burlington City Hall for the 11:00 am Remembrance Day Service. The Royal Canadian Legion is holding this ceremony and everyone is welcome to attend. For additional information, please contact the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 at 905-639-6400. Please be aware that Brant Street will be closed for this parade and Ontario Street, between Brant and Locust will also be closed for the Remembrance Day Service.
I believe it is ever more important that we maintain a strong connection with the people that have served and continue to serve our country.
Lest We Forget