Hundreds gathered around Legion Memorial Park in Cornwall to pay their respects to veterans who served and those who died for our freedom. This Remembrance Day was the first full service in three years and was a great tribute to our veterans, with Mavis Williamson as the Master of Ceremonies.
“The Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Service is held to remember those brave men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice with their lives in WW1, WW2 and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, The Persian Gulf War and Afghanistan, as well as our Canadian Peacekeepers who lost their lives during Military missions abroad and while serving in Canada’s defense,” said 1st Vice President Dona McNish in an opening statement, “Their lives were not lost in vain. Their sacrifice ensured that we, who remain behind, would continue to have the freedoms Canadians enjoy today.”
After gathering at the cenotaph, O’Canada was played by the Sea & Air Cadet band. Jacob Lalonde played the bugle for The Last Post, followed by the lowering of the Canadian Flag and two minutes of silence at 11:00am.
The ceremony included remarks and prayer from Msgr. Kevin Maloney as well as a recital of ‘In Flanders Fields’ by young locals, 325 Air Flight Sargent Zoe Noort Sigurdson and 2403 Army Cadet Master Warrant Office Brayden Hogson. The Commitment to Remember was read by 2nd Vice President Kerry Patterson.
Many dignitaries were present at the ceremony to lay wreaths, including representatives from municipal, provincial, and federal government. MP Eric Duncan for the Government of Canada, Senator Bernadette Clement for the Senate of Canada, MPP Nolan Quinn for the Government of Ontario, and Mayor Grant for the City of Cornwall.
Others who placed wreaths at the ceremony included: Lt. Col Armstong and CWO Earle (CFSACO) (Canadian Armed Forces), District Commander Ken Heagle & Zone Commander Linda Fisher (Korean War Veterans), Richard Vinet (Vietnam War Veterans), President M. Plumadore (Indigenous Veterans and Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297), Marie Plumadore and President Ann Primeau (Branch 297 Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary), Inspector Dave Michaud and Constable Ben Flipsen (City of Cornwall Police Service), Deputy Fire Chief Stephenson (City of Cornwall Fire Service), Lt. Col Hartman and CWO Lessard (SDG Highlanders), Sergeant Labbé (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and Missionary Ishak (Ahmadiyya Muslim Community).
When it was his turn to speak, Marvin Plumadore (President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297) shared a conversation that happened earlier that week, in which several men suggested he cut his speech short due to the rainy forecast.
“For those men that said that they wouldn’t come out here if it was raining, I apologize to all you service people, because I think that was being disrespectful. And I want to thank you all for your service to your country,” said Plumadore somberly.