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Graduation 2020

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Remembrance observed in WN; new cenotaph unveiled in Garden Village

by Isabel Mosseler
Tribune

Remembrance Day was commemorated at various locations and schools in West Nipissing this past week, with a large showing on November 11 at the Marcel Noel hall in Sturgeon Falls, and with the unveiling of a new cenotaph at Garden Village, Nipissing First Nation. Every year the ranks of veterans thins, but the people of West Nipissing and Nipissing First Nation keep faith by honouring the sacrifices of previous generations, as well as those men and women who provide military service in current conflicts and peacekeeping missions. Every year the volunteers and veterans of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 225 make great efforts to reach all the communities, Field, Verner, Kipling, involving areas schools and community groups, to make sure people do not forget the sacrifices made.

This year, because of an early snowfall and icy patches, there was no parade in Sturgeon Falls. Master of Ceremonies Marcel Charbonneau said, “It’s just too dangerous. It would be our liability if someone slipped and fell.” Consequently the Colour Party, accompanied by a lone piper and the bugler, started the service from the hall itself. The 22 Wing Command from North Bay provided a presence, as did the Algonquin Cadets.

Representing Silver Cross Mothers, Barbara Clark Chartrand laid the wreath on behalf of those mothers who have suffered the loss of a child. The Memorial Cross (more often referred to as the Silver Cross) was first authorized on December 1, 1919 as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors, aviators and soldiers who died for their country during the war. Barb Chartrand noted that she wasn’t herself a Silver Cross mother, but she lost her brother during WW2. There were also several active duty service men and women at the ceremony, and veterans of more recent conflicts. Also in attendance were many police officers and representatives of fire and emergency services. Some attendees brought their younger children, introducing them to the tradition, with two young children laying wreaths with the accompanying adults. 

Attendees held two minutes of silence following a roll call of all those who passed, the lone bugler closing with taps. Comrade Charbonneau recited the Act of Remembrance, “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning; We will remember them. We will remember them.” The somber ceremony took about an hour, with approximately 50 wreaths being laid by families, local institutions and businesses. 

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