Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day in Amherstburg features largest parade since WWII ended

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Remembrance Day in Amherstburg was even more memorable than ever this year.

While Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 did its usual excellent job organizing the parade and the service at the cenotaph, it was made extra special this year due to the parade’s size. Capt. Richard Girard, zone Sgt. At Arms, told those who marched that it was the largest parade in Amherstburg since the conclusion of World War II in 1945.

The Remembrance Day parade heads westbound on Richmond St. en route to the cenotaph.

“This is the proudest day I’ve had in a long time,” Girard told the parade participants after its conclusion outside of Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Saturday morning.

The ceremony at the cenotaph included the roll call of all Amherstburg veterans who died at war and also included two minutes of silence to remember all of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey offered thanks to all of those who served Canada and also thanked the young people who attended the Remembrance Day ceremony. That included the members of the 202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps.

A member of the #202 Fort Malden Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps salutes as part of Nov. 11 ceremonies.

Ramsey also read a poem sent to her from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School student Kathleen Drouillard, which captured the spirit of the day.

“It’s incredibly important that young people understand the sacrifices made by so many to have the freedom we have today,” said Ramsey.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak said people have the “solemn obligation to remember” and that he was honoured to be in the presence of all of the veteran on Remembrance Day. Natyshak stated that “peace came with so much sacrifice” and that veterans need to be taken care of when they are at home.

Capt. Richard Girard, a Korean War veteran, salutes after laying a wreath in memory of his brother.

“Our debt is a debt that can never be repaid but by being here, we honour their sacrifice,” he added.

CAO John Miceli represented the town of Amherstburg and he read an address from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, who was recovering from surgery. DiCarlo’s remarks, as read by Miceli, noted that “we are a better country” because of our veterans and that it is sad many are now passing away.

“The young generation of today will not have the honour of knowing our veterans like we have,” Miceli read.

The mayor added, via the CAO, that today’s youth need to be educated on the sacrifices of veterans and added “liberties and freedoms didn’t come by chance, but by the sacrifices of men and women.”

The Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 colour guard leads the Remembrance Day parade back to the branch Nov. 11.

Laurie Cavanaugh, president of Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157, thanked those who participated in the parade and all of those that attended the Remembrance Day service. She added the cadets stood guard at the cenotaph late Friday night as part of their tribute.

Cavanaugh added there were a lot of volunteers that helped make the Remembrance Day parade and service a reality and that the Legion was grateful for their efforts.

Western Secondary School observes Remembrance Day

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Schools across Windsor-Essex County observed Remembrance Day last Friday and that included Western Secondary School.

Cadets from the Essex & Kent Scottish Regiment march in the gymnasium during a Remembrance Day service last Friday at Western Secondary School.

With Remembrance Day falling on Saturday this year, schools held ceremonies a day early with Western Secondary students assembling in the gymnasium. Two minutes of silence were observed for fallen veterans with wreath laying, inspirational songs and cadets from the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment also helping to mark the occasion.

Brandi Plantus, who teaches Grade 10 Canadian history at Western, said the school puts on a Remembrance Day assembly annually. She added that her Grade 10 class helped organize the assembly.

“I was really pleased with the participation today and the silence given throughout the ceremony,” said Plantus. “The students seemed to be really respectful and interested in learning about Remembrance Day.”

Western Secondary School students Nickolaus Danckaert and Robert Bennett lay a wreath.

Plantus said her Grade 10 Canadian History students just studied World War I so they were able to relate to the topics that were studying.

“They’ve really taken a liking to wanting to participate on this day,” Plantus said of her students.

Plantus thanked the cadets and others who also assisted in planning the ceremony at Western Secondary School.

St. Joseph School hosts living memorial, receives visit from veteran

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Students at St. Joseph School remembered Canada’s veterans and even got a visit from one of them last week.

Grade 7 and 8 students once again participated in a “living memorial” on Remembrance Day. Students, all dressed in black, stood in front of the River Canard school on a small riser with a Canadian flag attached to it with white crosses surrounding the riser. The students did not speak as they stood in respect to Canada’s soldiers.

The school also hosted a local war veteran as Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Tim Rousseau visited the school both Thursday and Friday. Rousseau met with three classes last Thursday and explained his years of service and medals to even more students last Friday.

St. Joseph School held a living memorial as part of marking Remembrance Day. Cole Ciarocchi, Andrew Langlois and Kole Higgins take their turn comprising a “living memorial.” Also pictured are Michael and Stephen Goulet and CWO Tim Rousseau.

St. Joseph School held a living memorial as part of marking Remembrance Day. Cole Ciarocchi, Andrew Langlois and Kole Higgins take their turn comprising a “living memorial.” Also pictured are Michael and Stephen Goulet and CWO Tim Rousseau.

Rousseau served 32 years in the military with tours of duty including Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Not only was Rousseau able to put a human face to military service for the students but he was also able to return to a school he once attended as a student. Rousseau said he was born and raised in River Canard and attended St. Joseph School from kindergarten to Grade 8.

The way the school marked Remembrance Day was something he was pleased with as well.

“It’s great. I am really impressed with the amount of observance this school gives towards Remembrance Day,” said Rousseau. “The living memorial is very inspiring. It’s pretty impressive.”

When visiting the school last Thursday, principal Linda DiPasquale asked him to return the next day for Remembrance Day. She was grateful he agreed.

“We’re honoured he came to be here today for Remembrance Day,” DiPasquale said last Friday.

Chief Warrant Officer Tim Rousseau (left) shared his stories with several classes at St. Joseph School in River Canard, including the class that is pictured. Rousseau is a graduate of St. Joseph School.

Chief Warrant Officer Tim Rousseau (left) shared his stories with several classes at St. Joseph School in River Canard, including the class that is pictured. Rousseau is a graduate of St. Joseph School.

Rousseau was joined by stepsons Michael and Stephen Goulet, Michael also being a veteran. Rousseau said the families at home also make numerous sacrifices when a loved one is in the military, particularly when that military family member is deployed somewhere.

“The families have to put up with a lot of sacrifices,” he said. “I think the families sacrifice more than anyone.”

Noting his wife is also retired from the military, Rousseau said he was based out of North Bay, Pettawawa, London, Winnipeg, Cold Lake, Alberta and Trenton during his 32-year military career.

Veterans both past and present honoured on Remembrance Day

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Those who have served Canada in times of war or during peacetime were honoured Friday as part of Remembrance Day ceremonies in Amherstburg.

The day started with a parade from Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 that headed down Murray St., Sandwich St. S. and Richmond St. before arriving at the cenotaph in King’s Navy Yard Park. A reviewing stand was set up at the Amherstburg post office as the parade passed by.

The Remembrance Day parade passes by the reviewing stand in front of the post office Nov. 11.

The Remembrance Day parade passes by the reviewing stand in front of the post office Nov. 11.

Wreaths were laid in memory of the fallen with dignitaries on hand to pay tribute to those who have served.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo commented on the number of people that attended the 11 a.m. ceremony, stating it is “a sign Amherstburg will always remember the sacrifice of those who protected their rights and freedoms.

DiCarlo said it was hard to put into words the gratitude today’s society has for our veterans, noting their sacrifices affected many.

“The least we can do for those who defended our lives is remember them,” he said.

DiCarlo said respect needs to be paid regularly to veterans who are no longer with us as well as those still with us.

“They will always be with us. Lest we forget,” he said.

Nadine Abiraad, a constituency assistant in Essex MP Tracey Ramsey’s office, brought greetings on Ramsey’s behalf as she was at ceremonies in Essex.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Ladies Auxiliary president Pat Amlin salutes after laying a wreath in front of the cenotaph.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 Ladies Auxiliary president Pat Amlin salutes after laying a wreath in front of the cenotaph.

“We stand here today in honour of those who sacrificed their lives to make this country better for all of us and this world a better one for all of us,” said Abiraad.

Patti Hayes brought greetings from Essex MPP Taras Natyshak said it was an honour to be there and thanked veterans for the freedoms Canadians celebrate today.

Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 president Dave Lauzon said there were 1,400 similar celebrations across the country in honour of those who served and those who maintained the freedoms we enjoy today.

Reg Spencer reads a poem written by Linda Bertrand.

Reg Spencer reads a poem written by Linda Bertrand.

“Remembrance Day is one of the most important days in the Canadian calendar,” said Lauzon

Capt. Richard Girard, who served as Sgt.-at-Arms during the parade, thanked all of those who participated and those that worked to ensure the parade could happen.

“Thank you all,” he said. “You made my day.”

The parade and ceremony concluded at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School prepping for Remembrance Day

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local school has been gearing up for Remembrance Day since the school year began.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School is polishing up on their history in preparation for Friday’s Remembrance Day service but the students at the all-boys private school state it is more than just for Remembrance Day.

“We started working on Remembrance Day at the beginning of the year,” said Cameron Sinasac.

Deven Bastien said they do so to ensure they have the knowledge of what Remembrance Day is but to know what the sacrifices veterans made all year round.

Peter Thyrring, headmaster at St. Peter’s ACHS College School, said the school does a lot of work in teaching students what types of sacrifices were made by soldiers. He said they have made such trips as heading to the Hamilton Air Museum, Base Borden and the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park.

“It’s easy to talk about poppies and Flander’s Fields,” said Thyrring. “Most kids don’t even know where Flander’s Fields is.”

St. Peter’s ACHS College School is prepping for Remembrance Day and uses actual war memorabilia as part of their lessons. Front row: Deven Bastien, Zander Deschamps, Michael Blais. Back row: Alistair Hardman, Beckham Sawchuk, headmaster Peter Thyrring, T.J. Langlois, Kaden Campbell, Cameron Sinasac, J.T. Langlois.

St. Peter’s ACHS College School is prepping for Remembrance Day and uses actual war memorabilia as part of their lessons. Front row: Deven Bastien, Zander Deschamps, Michael Blais. Back row: Alistair Hardman, Beckham Sawchuk, headmaster Peter Thyrring, T.J. Langlois, Kaden Campbell, Cameron Sinasac, J.T. Langlois.

Thyrring said students are taught about conflicts ranging from the Boer War right up through the War on Terrorism. He said there are two sides to every war and that students learn the bad and good on both sides.

“They are taught there are many sides to these wars,” he said.

One-third of the school’s history curriculum is devoted to Remembrance Day, another third about Canadian history and the other third on world history. He said they dine at Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 at least once per month, talk to veterans whenever they can and learn about people who fought.

The school has decommissioned weapons, videos and historical materials they learn from, including records of soldiers who died in battle.

“We don’t want people to get forgotten,” said Thyrring. “We try to do as much as possible.”

 

Remembrance Day parade   Royal Canadian Legion Br. 157 is hosting the annual Remembrance Day parade and service at the cenotaph this Friday.

The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. and is scheduled to follow the same route, which goes east on Murray St., north on Sandwich St. S., west on Richmond St. and heading down into the Navy Yard Park to the cenotaph.

Following the ceremony, the parade will head south down Dalhousie St. to the Legion.