In honour of Canadian fallen soldiers and veterans about 100 cadets, dignitaries and residents gathered in Beaudet Park on Saturday, Nov. 7 to mark Remembrance Day.
Organised by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 98, the somber tone was contrasted with blue skies and warm weather when the parade began with the call to order and national anthem. A Royal Canadian air cadet from squadron 621 did his part by playing the Last Post on the saxophone, a song traditionally rendered on the bugle horn.
There are few sounds that recall the national pride of the occasion more than traditional bagpipes. The crowd watched, subdued, as a bagpiper played the Lament, pacing in semi-circles around the memorial.
The silent crowd exemplified the respect for the observance, especially from the younger folks, who may not know the scope of what veterans have gone through.
“It’s a pretty emotional experience for some people and that’s what I think is lacking a lot amongst most of the public: what the true significance is. It’s not the glory of war, but the sacrifice,” said squadron 588’s commanding officer, John Wylie.
“The cadets get to see veterans, to see how important it was to them and pay tribute to those who chose to serve the common good.” Wylie believes that that sort of sacrifice should not go unnoticed.
President of legion 98, Wolfgang Senf, paid respect by reading the Act of Remembrance before wreaths were laid on behalf of veterans, Canada, Quebec and St-Laurent.
The ceremony ended with the cadet band playing God Save the Queen.
For many of the cadets in squadrons 588 (anglophone) and 621 (francophone) that range from 12 to 19-years-old, it can be difficult to comprehend what it means to go to war.
“They haven’t seen the horrors of it, or faced it, and we try to give them that understanding of what was going on in the historical context,” said Wylie. “That this is where people had to stand up and make a difference. If they didn’t, some evil people would be ruling the world and making everybody’s life that much more miserable.”
While the young members may not be fighting wars they are gaining skills, like discipline, with the cadets and respect through honouring veterans who served in past wars.