PHOTO GALLERY: Caring as important as remembering
It is not simply good enough to only remember those who made the supreme sacrifice for the freedoms Canadians enjoy.
It is also important to care for those who survived, and are “still suffering in mind and body because they came back.”
That was one of the messages from Major Rev. Duncan Lyon during Saturday’s Remembrance Day service at Gale Centre in Niagara Falls.
“It is not only a matter of we will remember them, but also we are here for those who need it,” he said.
“In expressing our thanks and remembrance and honour, let’s continue to urge one another and our governments to ensure that the veterans among us who are in need have their needs met. On this day, among all others, we remind ourselves that it is in what we do that we find the true measure of our gratitude and appreciation for those whose sacrifice has been made in so many places.”
Lyon said Niagara Falls is fortunate to have, among other agencies, a resource centre at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 479 with a dedicated legionnaire ready to help.
“The hope is that no vet who needs help will fail to get it.”
The annual service, organized by the Niagara Falls Central Veterans Committee, included two minutes of silence, followed by Last Post, The Lament and Reveille.
In Flanders Fields was read out by Warrant Officer Mario Carpino, while the Acte du Souvenir poem was read out by Victoria Lalonde, a Grade 8 student at Ecole elementaire catholique Saint-Antoine.
Lyon delivered the prayer for Canada’s wartime dead, as well as the address, before a number of organizations placed wreaths.
Immediately following the ceremony, a dedication presentation of all wreaths took place at the cenotaph on Clifton Hill.
Allan Heywood, a 97-year-old veteran of the Second World War, having served with the 4th Armoured Division of the Algonquin Regiment, said the Remembrance Day service is important “to show who we are, and for people to remember who we are.”
Nick Ross, a 91-year-old veteran of the Second World War and Korean War, said he looks forward to meeting fellow veterans at the service.
“It recognizes the sacrifices of our comrades. There’s fewer and fewer of them every year, and in my particular case, I’m the oldest member of my unit,” said the former police officer.
“(Friday) my friend who is here with me and I attended a dinner in Hamilton put on by the government of Korea, and there was 35 of us from across the province who were Korea veterans at that dinner. That’s an unbreakable bond.”
Bergen Steiger, a 17-year-old petty officer first class with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets 103 Niagara, helped to guard the cenotaph overnight Friday, and was one of the many cadets to attend Saturday’s service.
“As anything happens, time passes and even though we hope people don’t forget, with a regular remembrance service like this yearly it makes it much harder for people to forget such a large sacrifice,” he said.
“This is not only important for cadets like myself and civilians, but just as a general consciousness of the nation to let them remember what happened.”