It was an encouraging sight to see the crowd that gathered, shoulder to the wind, Monday morning for the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Minden. The steady north westerly and sprinkling of snow did little to deter those who came to pay their respects to soldiers who fought and especially those who died in the two world wars, the Korean conflict, and most recently in Afghanistan. Those who served and lost their lives in Peacekeeping missions were also remembered.
Perhaps most heartening were the young faces in attendance: a choir of Archie Stouffer students, youths who placed wreaths at the County Cairn, another who read a poem and others from the Guides and Scouts and the Cadet Corps. Their contributions were appreciated by everyone who was there.
Of course the crowd was peppered with grey hair and people of an age who, though not alive during the last wars, knew fathers, uncles and aunts and perhaps brothers and sisters who went overseas or who brought home stories of their experiences in battle.
Many of the wreath presenters were related to the veteran they were honouring: sons daughters and grandchildren were there to keep their memory alive.
As I glanced about, I couldn’t help but note the number of young adults in attendance. Sincere in their manner and reverent to the occasion, they stood shoulder to shoulder with veterans and children to quietly pay their respects. Their presence was both encouraging and heartening as they honoured the men and women who fought and especially those who died … people they only knew in name or perhaps not at all. These younger generations seem well aware of the sacrifice soldiers made for the freedoms we all enjoy. It struck me that the request repeated at every Legion function is being answered: At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.