With Canadian Forces launching an airstrike campaign in the Middle East, and the killings of soldiers in Ottawa and St. Jean sur Richelieu still fresh on our minds, Remembrance Day holds extra significance this year.
“It is a good time to remember and I think this year because (an attack) happened on our own soil it is more important than ever,” Elmira Legion president Karen Schieck said.
In celebration of Canadian service men and women both past and present, the members of the Elmira Legion will march alongside their counterparts from around the region on November 9 in parades at the Linwood Community Centre (1:15 p.m.) and the Elmira cenotaph (3 p.m.).
“It’s important because it helps people, and especially the kids, remember how we came to have the freedoms we enjoy,” Schieck said. “Sometimes in school you just get the American history, as opposed to the Canadian involvement.”
The event is held on the Sunday in advance of November 11 so that veterans and spectators can celebrate at home, in Elmira, as well as at some of the larger activities throughout the region on Remembrance Day itself.
“We are very fortunate on a few counts,” Elmira Legion past-president Sandy Pember said. “One, we are able to get the Waterloo Region Police Band, and it also allows other communities that have their parade on the 11th to come here, like Drayton, Elora, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the Navy Club and the Air Force club are able to send people here and we in turn are able to reciprocate on the 11th. That makes as all feel good.”
The Legion is also participating in a number of annual events including the poppy campaign, which “provides immediate assistance to ex-service personnel in need,” and the school poster and literary contests, which, “help foster an understanding of the sacrifices made by many young men and women in past wars.”