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Big turnout for Essex Legion’s Remembrance Day ceremony



by Sylene Argent

Hundred of Essex residents gathered at the local cenotaph on Sunday morning, to honour the fallen soldiers and veterans who have fought for the rights and freedoms Canadians enjoy today, as part of this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony.

  Craig Chartier, Second Vice President of the Essex Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch 201), which organizes the local Remembrance Day ceremony every year, began the wreath laying ceremony with noting time stands still for a moment, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, as the community remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice for peace.

  The community comes together on Remembrance Day, Branch Padre Kim Gilliland explained, to honour and pay tribute to those who fought and those who supported them from home.

  He prayed that better ways to deal with conflicts can be discovered in the future for peace.     

  This year’s recognition event was extra special as 2018 marked the centennial anniversary of WWI’s Armistice.

  “Although every Remembrance Day is important, this year’s ceremony has added significance as we mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War,” Dan Gray, President of the Essex Legion, said during the Remembrance Day ceremony.

  “At this time of year, millions of Canadians, like you, pay their deep respects to the veterans who have fallen in the service of their nation. They also honour those still serving in the Canadian Forces and RCMP, whether they’re in areas of conflict, taking part in operations to maintain peace, or serving on humanitarian missions. We remember them, individually, by wearing a poppy close to our hearts,” Gray said.

  On Remembrance Day, many thousands of individuals from across the nation, gather at cenotaphs or at other locations to pay tribute to fallen soldiers and veterans. “But wherever we are, we will think about the incredible sacrifices made to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today.”

  The Legion, Gray continued, has a “Solemn duty to ensure that Canadians overwhelmingly find Remembrance Day as relevant today as when it began nearly a century ago. By doing so, we will reassure the more than 700,000 Canadian veterans that we care.”

  The Royal Canadian Legion has a year-round commitment of making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.

  It is never too early to begin to understand the significance of Remembrance Day. The Essex Ravens Novice hockey team proved that as the young teammates attended the ceremony with a large poppy-shaped sign they made to thank local veterans.

  Sunday’s Remembrance Day ceremony began with a parade that began at the Essex Legion and made its way to Essex United Church. A mass then took place in honour of service men and women, which was followed by the wreath laying ceremony at the cenotaph.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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