Thousands turn out for Remembrance Day

Monique Chiasson
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Thousands turn out for Remembrance Day

TRURO - A little girl walks by a lineup of veterans seated and covered in blankets. She stares for a moment, adjusts her poppy and then retreats to the crowd with loved ones.
It was a simple moment of respect shown at the Truro Remembrance Day service Wednesday.
After the singing of O Canada, clapping erupted from thousands of people who gathered for the event, held under partially sunny skies and a light wind.
"I don't like war because people try to kill each other," said nine-year-old Riley Blair of Truro.
The youngster's family purchased a wreath and Blair was one of many individuals
who laid a personal wreath or placed
poppies on wreaths at the end of the remembrance ceremony.
"I'm doing it to remember my great-great-grandfather (John Robert Murray) ... he was in the army and he was important," the youngster said after gingerly positioning the wreath against the Cenotaph.
East Mountain's Paula Tedford was thrilled so many people, young and old, continue to participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies. Her son, Darcy, was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
"In some ways it's a little harder to attend the service now," said Tedford. "When it first happened I was numb but now there's been more time to reflect."
Many people approached Tedford at the ceremony, remembering her fallen son.
"It feels like a big family here."
North River's Eric MacCallum said the reality of war in today's world reminds people of the importance of Remembrance Day.
"The war in Afghanistan makes you think more about what's going on and about the past," said MacCallum.
Part of his reason for attending the annual Remembrance Day ceremony was in memory of family members who fought in wars. Luckily, none of them died in battle.
"It seems like war will (always) be a part of our lives ... and it's different today than 10 or 15 years ago. There used to be so few people at the service but now there are lots."
Thousands and thousands of people gathered for services throughout Colchester County, including in Brookfield, Bass River, Debert, Great Village, Five Islands, Londonderry, Stewiacke and Tatamagouche.

mchiasson@trurodaily.com



Geographic location: Afghanistan, East Mountain, North River Colchester County Brookfield Bass River Great Village Londonderry Tatamagouche

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  • Gilliad
    March 01, 2010 - 14:39

    To those who attended what I understand was one of the largest Truro Memorial Day ceremonies in recent memory, thank you for remembering.

    No, I didn't attend. But I am fortunate enough to be a member of Valley United Church, which was this year's choice for the official Truro Legion Remembrance Day service. I was there, and yes, I cried, along with several of the men and women, dressed in their smart blue blazers, poppies firmly attached, standing straight and tall as most of us sang O Canada and God Save the Queen .

    There were several folks there, notably the younger ones, who didn't know the words. And isn't that a shame.

    I also attended North River Elementary School's Remembrance Day service to hear a young friend of mine sing Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again. As well, several of the classes and other youngsters did special songs and readings.

    I'm not sure if any of them totally understood the significance of Ms. Lynn's song, but my friend did a lovely job and I want to congratulate the staff, teachers and students for a meaningful presentation. And yes, I had a tear in my eye again.

    Finally, I watched a large segment of the official Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa, broadcast by CBC Newsworld. I didn't cry: I bawled like a baby.

    You see, my father was killed near the beginning of the Second World War, leaving behind a grieving wife and a 2-year old son. Me.

    I never got to know him, and I know my mother never forgave him, but as I have grown older, I understand why he did what he felt was necessary. And although to this day I miss not having had him around, I believe he did what he considered to be the right thing.

    Even today, because of Canada's involvement in the Afghanistan conflict and elsewhere - let's forget the politics for the moment - similar tragedies are happening again and again and again. But those who go have their reasons, and I have a hunch most of them are very, very good ones.

    If you didn't have the time to even pause for two minutes on Wednesday morning, let alone attend or view a service, shame on you. Try just a bit harder next year. You'll be surprised how good it will make you feel.