Members of the Canadian Armed Forces show emotion at the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Vermilion on November 11.
Photo Angela Mouly
Gathering to remember those who serve and have served, The Vermilion Legion hosted a Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph on November 11.
Drums filled the air as the parade opened the ceremony including members from the Lakeland Pipes and Drums, Legion members from the Field Marshal Alexander Branch #11, a 2645 Vermilion Army Cadets Colour Party, RCMP members, members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Emergency Medical Services personnel, dignitaries, and families of veterans.
Sadie Granigan led the singing of ‘O’ Canada,’ and Reverend Aubrey Bell led a prayer. A moment of silence was held before a procession of wreaths was laid by representatives.
At the Legion, forwarded messages were read aloud or delivered in person.
“It is a day steeped in both tradition and sorrow. The need to remember is as important to us now as it was then. Lest we forget,” said MLA Richard Starke in a letter.
Mayor, Caroline McAuley shared memories of family that had emigrated from Holland, along with her gratefulness to live in a free and democratic country - Canada.
Legion President Garry Zayac thanked volunteers and community contributors prior to the luncheon.
Guests enjoyed viewing the community displays at the Legion including the 3D replica given to Roberts Snelgrove in honour of his uncle, Thomas Alban Snelgrove, who died at Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. According to Robert, there are only three replicas in existence, one at Vimy in France, one at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, and one in Vermilion.
WWII Veteran, Ellwood Hill, attended in full uniform again this year and enjoyed the ceremony and visiting with family and community members.
At 96 years old, Hill travelled from Vegreville because having been raised 12 miles south of town, he still considers Vermilion home. Hill served from 1941- 1945 as part of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division and 23rd Field Ambulance. The D-Day Veteran spent time training in England, served in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany. He was the recipient of a voluntary service medal, German Star, the Defence Medal, and the Legion of Honour which is the highest French order of merit.
“Canada was a volunteer Army, but in those days when you were 18, they called you up to serve, so we were conscripted,” said Hill.
Poppy Chairman, Marcel Lefebvre, shared the importance of holding a ceremony to remember and said, “So we never, never forget the people that sacrificed so much so that we could have freedom.”