WINDSOR, N.S. – The chill wind whipped through the large crowd gathered at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Windsor on Nov. 11, with a temperatures dipping below zero, but that didn’t stop people from coming out to show their respects.
Organizers of the ceremony said they were blown away by the number of people who attended, adding that it’s a sign that the next generation won’t forget the sacrifices of current and past service members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Veteran Leonard Newland said he was ‘out of this world’ with gratitude for the people that came out to the Remembrance Day ceremony.
“I’m amazed how many people arrive here every year, especially this year,” Newland said. “They come from all over too, which is great. I think this is one of the biggest crowds I’ve seen. To see this many people just makes your heart grow.”
He said he was amazed to see so many people take part, be it laying wreaths or poppies at the monument at the centre of Victoria Park.
“Even the little ones are up there, it’s so nice to see,” he said. “It shows that the parents are teaching their children the importance of the poppies and what it stands for.”
Newland served in the Royal Canadian Navy for 27 years and has been a member of the Royal Canadian Legion for 28 years. He laid a wreath during the ceremony on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia.
“I’m 90-years-old now, and I can’t do the long parades, but I sure enjoy these ceremonies,” he said. “My father was in the First World War, my brother flew a bomber in the Second World War and was killed 11 days before the end of the war, and I joined the navy as young as I could get in.”
Elizabeth Robertson Ledbury, 91, who was born in Windsor, attended the ceremony bundled up in blankets, sitting in a wheelchair.
But during the singing of O Canada and God Save The Queen, she insisted on standing.
Her daughter, Brenda Spence-Macleod of New Glasgow said it was important to bring her to Windsor the day’s event.
“She signed up when she was 17, she served most of her time in Halifax, but this is where she grew up,” she said. “Coming to these ceremonies is everything to her. Her father served and was wounded at Vimy, her uncle served and died, so it’s a very important thing for her to be here.”
Happy to be there
Stacey Atwell, of Windsor, said she was happy to make it out to the ceremony in person, with her family laying two wreaths during the ceremony.
“It’s a small part that we can do, brave the cold of today and honour those that have died for us, especially with the crazy state of the world today,” she said. “People are continuing to go over and fight these wars so we can be safe here.”
Her daughter laid a wreath on behalf of her nursery school, and her husband laid a wreath on behalf of his union.
“That’s something we haven’t done in the past, but had wanted to,” she said. “This huge crowd is just amazing to see. I’ve been to many of these before as a cadet, and never have I seen a turnout like this.”