A beautiful Remembrance Day service was held in the lobby of the Emerald Retirement Residence today. We had 6 representatives from Legion Branch 396 (Chippawa) treat us to the service to remember those who have served their country. Our own Sylvia Stotski is a member of this branch.
Included in this wonderful group of legionnaires was … Clayton Corcoran who delivered the opening and closing rituals, Bill Hodwitz who read Flanders Field and Ed Berezowski gave the Victory Emblem.
Many of our own residents are also veterans who wore their medals, pins and poppies with pride. We had Stan Wotjecki, Peter Moote, Ron Servos, Bob Oliver and Bill Donaldson – residents of Emerald who all served our country.
The morning began with everyone in the lobby and the singing of our anthem “O Canada”. We had the Padre’s address and the Prayer for Canada’s War Dead lead by Rev. Canon J. Powell. He also was responsible for Laying of the Wreath.
I spoke with a visitor who attended the ceremony. She told me that her son is also a member guarding the cenotaph at Clifton Hill tonight. I asked her if that was a result of the shooting of Nathan Cirillo in 2014 as he guarded the National War Memorial at Parliament Hill. She told me that although the shooting was tragic and not to be forgotten, the guarding of the cenotaph wasn’t new.
Instead she mentioned a wonderful man named Russell (Sandy) Sanderson who was known locally for the tradition at Clifton Hill. Sandy passed away this past year at the age of 90. He would guard the cenotaph, even by himself each year in all kinds of weather. Even when he moved away to Hamilton, Sandy would return to Niagara Falls to proudly stand for his fallen comrades.
Now we have young men and women cadets who each take 20-minute shifts to guard the cenotaph in honour of our fallen soldiers.
At the end of the ceremony we all sang “God Save the Queen”. These ceremonies are heartfelt, emotional and filled with gratitude. We are grateful for the men and women who serve and we are grateful to live in Canada and enjoy the freedoms they provided us.
“We will remember them…img_1497-1