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  • Vermilion Voice

Armistice Centennial

The Remembrance Day Ceremony in Vermilion took place at the Cenotaph on November 11, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the end of WWI, along with veterans and active serving members. Legion member, Dale Pearce, emceed the event, and Royal Canadian Air Force Captain, Lisa Sterby, from CFB Cold Lake sang O’ Canada. A moment of silence was held, followed by bagpipes by Lakeland Pipes and Drums member, Bill McIldoon. Wreaths were laid by dignitaries including County of Vermilion River Councillor, Leslie Cusak, and Town of Vermilion Mayor, Caroline McAuley; service members; and families of veterans. Following the ceremony, people met at the Royal Canadian Legion, Field Marshal Alexander Branch No. 11 for a presentation and lunch. Veterans were recognized and received a round of applause in thanks for their service. Ninety-seven year old WWII Veteran, Elwood Hill, attended. Hill served in the 23rd Field Ambulance with the 9th Brigade and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division from 1941-1945. According to daughter Grace, Hill landed at Normandy on D-Day and his craft got stuck on a sand bar, thus being shelled for 24 hours. His companions jokingly called him EMAH because his name is Elwood Meeko Alfred Hill. He grew up with his four siblings south of Vermilion. WWII Veteran, John Karwandy, was also in attendance. Karwandy did not make it overseas as he was either too young or the war was nearing its end. A member of the RCAF, Karwandy trained as an aerial photographer. He remained with the Air Force until 1967, and has lived in Vermilion ever since. Chaplain Aubrey Bell said “In 1914, 700,000 of eight million people signed up for WWI, and they gave all they possibly could to enhance the lives of Canadians.” Mayor, Caroline McAuley said, “Remembrance Day is a time to pause and reflect, honour, shed a tear, share, and show gratitude to those that loved their country so much that they gave their lives. I’m extremely grateful to the men and women who left Vermilion to serve - for their sacrifice and endless gift to us of freedom and peace. I am grateful to those who have served and who serve today; to you we say, ‘Thank you.’” Cadet member Rhys Racine said that being involved with the cadets teaches you leadership and gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of new friends. Legion president, Garry Zayac said, “100 years ago today marks the end of WWI. We also remember all the other battles previous and current. Thank you to everyone for coming out and braving the weather to show your support.

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