Remembrance Day 2023
Those determined to keep the promises made to remember our own who have fallen in war and honour Canada’s Veterans (of past wars as well as those who have served during peacetime) gathered in the Community Centre on Saturday to take part in the Remembrance Day Service hosted by the Kipling Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
The service began with the entry of the Colour Party, which was followed by the Prayer of Invocation and a Scripture Lesson given by Pastor Chad Garris. Cde. Max Krecsy then led the Act of Remembrance – In Memory of the Fallen.
Following the Last Post…Two Minutes of Silence…and the Reveille…wreaths were placed at the cross by Brad Kearns (for Dr. Robert Kitchen, M.P. (on behalf of the Government of Canada), Veteran Allen Hourd (on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion), Pat Jackson (Mayor of Kipling), and Ray Andreas (District Deputy) and Eric Schneider (Grand Knight) (on behalf of the Windthorst Knights of Columbus).
Cde. Perry Hubbard gave a Tribute to the Fallen, sharing stories of some of those from the area who were lost during WWI & WWII (Earl Hourd, William Lawrysyn, James (Frank) Lyons, John (Jack) Milmine, Peter Noren and Otto Pachal).
Pastor Garris then addressed those gathered for the service, thanking them for having “made the choice to come here today and taking the time to remember and honour the sacrifices made by those who have served”.
He went on to observe that:
“Many young people have a hard time understanding why someone would lay down their life for others – especially since Canada has never had enemies invading our soil and those who have been lost in battle have most often died fighting an enemy overseas.
“Those who made the decision to take that stand and were willing to make that ultimate sacrifice, understood that when evil is left to go unchecked, sooner rather than later it will arrive at your back door.
“Instead of waiting for that to happen and in order to prevent the bloodshed occurring elsewhere from happening on our streets – these people had the courage, wisdom and backbone to make the necessary sacrifice so that evil could be stopped.
“I thank God for each of those people and I hope that you do as well. And I encourage you to take time to explain to those who may not understand, that the people who were willing to lay down their lives in service to this country made that choice out of love, to protect our freedom and our ability to come together as we have today.”
Among those who attended the Remembrance Day Service were Garth & Karen Hatton who have recently moved to the community from Ontario. Garth talked about the Remembrance Day Services that the couple attended in their home province.
“We’ve gone to the local Remembrance Day Services in Caledonia where they had one of the only two Lancaster Bombers that can still be flown. (One is in Britian while the other is housed at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton.) People from the whole area come out for the service. So being there was a very special experience for us.”
Garth then went on to praise the Kipling Legion for hosting a local Remembrance Day Service and noted that taking the time to recognize the sacrifice made by those who serve is as important now as it has ever been.
“This service was really wonderful! It is great to see the local Legion members working to provide this for the community. One of the things that I particularly admired was the luncheon after the service that allowed people to spend some time in fellowship and share their memories.
“This gave me the opportunity to reminisce about my grandfather, who was a machine gunner in WWI. And I was able to talk about my father also. He was a Navy Cadet who promised his parents that he’d wait until he was 18 to enlist during WWII. As it happened, the war ended just two months before his 18th birthday, so he was not involved in the fighting. But he was willing to serve – and that’s what matters.
“I think that it is so important for us to recognize and honour those who were willing to serve and those who made that ultimate sacrifice. If it wasn’t for them – we wouldn’t have the country that we have now. And when you look at what’s happening in the Ukraine and in the Middle East, it seems clear that our history and the sacrifice that it took to protect our freedoms should be highlighted even more.
“If war ever takes hold of this world again…it might look different. But the sacrifice that it will demand will be the same. So, the freedom that we have in this country is something that we should never take for granted.”