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  • Vermilion Voice

Remembrance Day Ceremony

Vermilion Army Cadet, Caitlin Nichols carried the Canadian Red Ensign during the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11. Photos Angela Mouly

A large group gathered at the Vermilion Cenotaph on November 11, to take in the Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony.

Bagpipes and drums filled the air as the parade of Legion members, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Government dignitaries, and Emergency Medical Services personnel made their way from the Legion to the cenotaph.

Wayne Freestone led the Remembrance Day Parade in Vermilion on November 11, followed by RCMP members and Vermilion Army cadets.

‘O Canada’ was sung and two minutes of silence was observed to remember those who have served. Bill McIldoon read ‘In Flanders Fields,’ followed by a procession of laying wreaths.

From left, retired Constable Claire Schielke, Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs, Vermilion Mayor Bruce MacDuff, and Vermilion Legion Director George Matechuk.

MP Shannon Stubbs shared a Remembrance Day speech, and Legion President Garry Zayac read a letter from MLA Richard Starke. Mayor Bruce MacDuff also shared a few words of remembrance.

From left, Legion Members Howard Row and Gordon Hills glance up in appreciation of the helicopter that flew over the Remembrance Day Ceremony.

Prayers were offered in thankfulness for past service and the protection of current serving members by a few local clergy members. ‘God Save The Queen’ was sung, and many joined together at the Legion following the service for lunch and comradeship.

WWII Veteran Elwood Hill at the Vermilion Legion on November 11.

WWII D-Day Veteran, Elwood Hill came from Vegreville to attend the special ceremony.

Raised 12 miles south of Vermilion, Hill spent three and a half years serving the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps from 1942 - 1945. He served in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 23rd Field Ambulance.

“It was June 4, 1944 when the Canadian army hit the coast of France. I traveled through France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany before the war ended,” said Hill.

A past pastor, Hill continues to enjoy having lots of family in the surrounding area.

WWII Veteran Ken Gilbert at the Vermilion Legion on November 11.

Another attendee was WWII Veteran, Ken Gilbert, who served as military police in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1941 - 1945. Gilbert traveled through Holland, Belgium, France and Germany.

“I was on the boat with the other boys when they were preparing to invade on D-Day, but I got called off due to having a broken arm. I didn’t get back to my outfit until they were half way through Holland.

I was at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp when it was liberated. They army remained there for two days after, and I chose to stay in Germany until 1946.

I had the privilege of meeting Ontario’s Eva Olssen when she spoke in Vermilion. Olssen was a Jewish prisoner at the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp when she was 18-years-old,” said Gilbert.

A family member went on to say that the army had rescued Olssen, and that she had always wanted to meet one of the fellows who freed her. They believe the exchange was mutually enjoyed. Gilbert continues to enjoy lots of visits from family in the surrounding area.

A large collection of wreaths were laid at the Vermilion Cenotaph in honour of those who have served during the Remembrance Day Ceremony on November 11.

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