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Rain added to sadness people felt on Veterans’ Day

Lt.-Col. Dany Breton, 8 Wing Logistics and Engineering Officer, places a Canadian flag at the base of memorial stone of  one of 200 veterans buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Picton. Photo Ross Lees

Lt.-Col. Dany Breton, 8 Wing Logistics and Engineering Officer, places a Canadian flag at the base of memorial stone of one of 200 veterans buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Picton. Photo Ross Lees

By Ross Lees
Drizzling rain only added to the sombre atmosphere of the Glenwood Cemetery’s Veterans’ Day Ceremony Saturday morning.

Legion members, veterans and military personnel parade into Glenwood Cemetery to the Maolehill Veterans’ section for remembrance ceremony Saturday morning. Photo Ross Lees

Legion members, veterans and military personnel parade into Glenwood Cemetery to the Maolehill Veterans’ section for remembrance ceremony Saturday morning. Photo Ross Lees

“It is certainly very touching to see veterans coming out to remember and of course the rain adds to a certain degree to the sadness everybody feels in their heart knowing full well the sacrifices they made was not in vain and that today we enjoy our freedom because of the very steep price they paid,” noted Lt.-Col. Dany Breton, the Wing Logistics and Engineering Officer at 8 Wing Trenton and the special guest speaker at the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at the end of Legion Week.

The ceremony of gratitude and remembrance at Glenwood Cemetery, the resting place for over 200 veterans including those who perished while training at the former RAF base known as No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, was organized by Branch 78 of the Royal Canadian Legion, No. 415 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association and Glenwood Cemetery.

In his opening remarks at the ceremony, Member of Parliament for Prince Edward Hastings Daryl Kramp said the rain gave those in attendance “just a tinkling of some of the conditions” those fighting in the wars went through and that he was proud to be there to honour and thank the Legion veterans and remember the lost and fallen.

Prince Edward County Mayor Peter Mertens, born in Holland the day after D-Day, said it was important to remember the sacrifices of our veterans in hopes that their efforts would eventually be adequately rewarded.

Lt.-Col. Breton, in his remarks during the ceremony, noted that in a “…world full of uncertainty and violence, our hearts long for peace,” but added that “…peace is not something won without conviction or without cost.

“A commitment to peace requires men and women to stand up for the right of all people to live free within a just and honourable society,” he stated. “their commitment is made with the full understanding that only time can mend the ills of the world and only hard work and sacrifice will bring lasting results.

“Today as we gather together at Glenwood Cemetery, we pause to remember the thousands of Canadians who have committed themselves in the defence of Canada and international peace around the world. We remember how they left their homes and loved ones to serve their country. We remember those who faced harsh conditions and a determined foe for days upon end without rest, and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedom we have today.”

Lt.-Col. Breton noted this cemetery and many more like it “…contain thousands who have been laid to rest, their service done, their peace – our peace – earned, but at such a steep price. Let us be worthy of their efforts, let us pick up the torch where they left off and let us commit anew to making each day a better one.”

As he stood their in the Canadian Armed Forces uniform, Lt.-Col. Breton said he remembered those who wore the uniform before him and said he was both humbled and honoured.

“I am humbled to be in the presence of those remaining veterans who blazed the paths, sailed the seas and flew the skies we are now entrusted to protect and I am honoured to be able to carry on the tradition of service to our magnificent country and to the people who call Canada home.”

But he added that service to community is not something reserved for military personnel alone.

“Service to the community is something that we can all do together,” he noted, adding, “Together we can do amazing things and I think today’s ceremony proves that. Today you have come together as a community with Branch 78 of the Royal Canadian Legion, 415 Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association , 851 Prince Edward Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, the staff of Glenwood Cemetery and all the citizens of Picton assembled here to day to remember the men and women who served both at home and overseas in hopes of a better tomorrow. As we remember the past, let us look to the future with the knowledge that a better tomorrow is ours to make.”

With those words fresh in the damp air of the cemetery, a new United Nations flag was dedicated within the cemetery as part of the ceremony.

Pipe Major Susan March plays the bagpipes as the new United Nations flag is raised in the background at the Glenwood Cemetery Saturday morning. Photo Ross Lees

Pipe Major Susan March plays the bagpipes as the new United Nations flag is raised in the background at the Glenwood Cemetery Saturday morning. Photo Ross Lees

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