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Ceremony honours soldiers’ sacrifices

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Legion members march in to Glenwood Cemetery for the Veteran’s Day ceremony on Sept. 20. Photo by Ross Lees

By Ross Lees
Two politicians who attended the Glenwood Cemetery Veteran’s Day on Saturday, Sept. 20, had personal connections to remembering the sacrifices of brave Canadian soldiers.

Prince Edward Hastings Member of Parliament (MP) Daryl Kramp’s father was a member of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) who fought in the Second World War. Picton Mayor Peter Mertens was born in the Netherlands the day after D- Day.

Kramp had recently observed a ceremony in Ottawa celebrating the 100th anniversary of the PPCLI and the Royal 22nd Regiment and he was reminded of two things – that the lessons of the past dictate what happens in the future and that our freedom did not come without a price.

He said the ceremony at Glenwood Cemetery was also a tribute to peacekeepers in today’s military.
Thinking of the contributions of many young people with their lives before them, Kramp noted, “Maybe some day those contributions will not be necessary, but the reality is we live in a dangerous, challenging, yet unbelievably opportunistic world.”

Mayor Mertens remembered the commitment of the soldiers who helped free the Netherlands and noted, “Canadian soldiers came to Holland that year and made a commitment so that someone like myself could be here today.”

Sandra Latchford welcomed and thanked everyone for attending the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Glenwood Cemetery.

Sandra Latchford welcomed and thanked everyone for attending the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Glenwood Cemetery. Ross Lees photo

Capt. Harry Harsch, the Techinical Services Manager of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission told the audience at Glenwood that 1.7 million people in the British Commonwealth died during the first and second world wars. They were from 153 countries and included 16 people buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

“Most who died in Canada didn’t die on the battlefield, but in training accidents with 31 Bombing and Gunnery School in Picton, although some were injured on the battlefield and made it home, but then died of the injuries during those designated war years,” he said.

Nine of the people buried at Glenwood Cemetery lost their lives in the Second World War II during the massive joint air training plan of which 31 Bombing and Gunnery School was a part.

“This massive joint air training plan graduated over 130,000 pilots, navigators, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators, flight engineers and other air crew for the air forces of Canada, Britain, Autralia and New Zealand,” Capt. Harsch noted, adding that 4,200 lost their lives in various training programs.

Lt.-Col. Wedgewood

Lt.-Col. Andrew Wedgewood, Commanding Officer (CO) of 8 AMS, spoke at the Glenwood Cemetery Veteran’s Day Ceremony. Photo by Ross Lees

 Lt.-Col. Andrew Wedgewood, the Commanding Officer of 8 Air Maintenance Squadron at CFB Trenton, spoke at the ceremony representing 8 Wing/CFB Trenton.

He said he was honoured to represent the men and women of 8 Wing at a Veteran’s Day ceremony which showed that the tradition of honouring those who fought for peace was alive and well.

“They contributed to making the world a safer place and we must continue to stand on guard and heed the message passed on to us and to generations to come,” he said. “They left family and friends and a comfortable life to fight for an idea, to support an idea that the rest of the world deserves what we have, that the rest of the world deserves freedom, peace and prosperity.”

After the formal part of the Glenwood Cemetery Veteran’s Day ceremony, dignitaries visited the graves of the fallen soldiers and placed poppies on them and Lt.-Col. Wedgewood and 8 AMS Chief Warrant Officer Ted Poper laid a wreath at a memorial cross in the cemetery.

This piper supplied music throughout the ceremony. Photo by Ross Lees

This piper supplied music throughout the ceremony. Photo by Ross Lees

Lt.-Col. Andrew Wedgewood places a poppy on one of six graves pictured here at Gelenwood Cemetery. Photo by Ross Lees

Lt.-Col. Andrew Wedgewood places a poppy on one of six graves pictured here at Gelenwood Cemetery.
Photo by Ross Lees

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  1. Charlie says:

    Ross, another great coverage of a memorial occasion in the County. Good WX this year (finally!!) made the 3rd Glenwood Vet Celebration a success.

    A Special thanks to the Glenwood Staff, Volunteers and Support Agencies to make this Annual Dedication a Success.
    Special Thanks to Bill and Marni for providing the great nibbles in the Chapel after the ceremony.

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