Slideshow: Cornwall Remembrance Day ceremony, 2018

Shawna O'Neill, TC Media

CORNWALL, Ontario – Hundreds gathered around the Cornwall Cenotaph at Legion Memorial Park on Sunday, Nov. 11 to honour all past and present citizens who have dedicated their lives to serve our country. 

The ceremony featured our national anthem, a brief sermon, a moment of silence, a speech presented by a member of the Royal Canadian Legion branch, the reading of In Flanders Fields and the laying of wreaths at the Cenotaph.

This year marks 100 years since the signing of the Armistice, which ended the First World War, otherwise known as The War to End All Wars. In honour of this significant milestone, church bells will ring 100 times at 4:30 p.m. in the city in commemoration.

In a speech made by a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the importance of acknowledgment was emphasized, encouraging citizens — especially youth — to be aware of what our forces have done for us, today, in WWI, WWII and other wars, such as the Korean War and the War in Afghanistan. The speaker also reminded attendees that war injuries can be visible and invisible, and affect many.

“Unlike those killed in battle in Europe (during WWI), our returned Veterans lay in ordinary graves for the most part, unrecognized for the remarkable sacrifices that they made,” said the speaker.

“We are honouring sacrifice and celebrating peace; lest we forget,” he added.

Clarence Couture of Cornwall, who was in attendance at the ceremony, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in 1957 and served until 1992; he then worked at the National Defense Headquarters.

“I served all overseas, and all across Canada,” said Couture, who was a technician on military aircraft. His last posting was working on helicopters in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier.

“I think we should remember…” he said, reflecting on how he joined the service when he was 19-years-old. “I was thinking this morning of the thousands of young people who died who were 18, in their 20s and 30s. It just tears your heart out, all those people dying on the battlefield, calling for their mothers. It really affects me. We need to remember.” 

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