Blind River residents and Mississaugi First Nation representatives gathered to honour Remembrance Day at the Blind River Legion Branch 189 hall and at the cenotaph in solemn ceremonies commemorating Canadians who fought in both World Wars and other conflicts around the world.
The Legion Hall was full of spectators and dignitaries to hear speeches of remembrance from Legion Chaplain Roberta Wilson-Garrett, Mayor Sally Hagman and First Nation Chief Reg Niganobe before heading off the cenotaph for the laying of wreaths in blustery, cold weather.
“Good morning veterans, dignitaries and members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 189 and friends,” Hagman told those gathered to remember. “I am honoured to be part of the ceremony where we remember our fallen comrades who gave their lives to preserve the peace of the world.”
“Canadians have participated in wars both as peacekeepers and in combat throughout the 20th and now into the 21st century,” Hagman said. “We hold the values of our democratic country to be the truest indicator of our moral and spiritual values. Let us go forward on this day and always, remembering those that have gone before us, fighting for the greater good of our country, Canada.”
“Because they lost so much… and because they gave everything, we thank them. We will always remember,” she continued.
“We stand here in peace and safety, we pay our respects to all of the fallen, all of the wounded and all who served in conflicts the last 100 years.”
Chief Niganobe brought remembrance sentiments in his native language and English. He offered respect to all ancestors and to those who have fought to protect Canada and freedom in the past, today and in the future.
Chaplain Wilson-Garrett noted the belief that “peace is the absence of conflict.”
“However, this falls far short of what we need for everlasting peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of love, generosity and grace as the principle that transforms all of our relationships.”
“Today is a day of remembrance, a day in which we recall that action of those who have gone before us. Many of them from this community and surrounding communities,” the chaplain said.
“It is, however, sad to note that since the end of the second World War there has not been a single day of peace,” she said. “Not a moment when someone, somewhere has not been waging some kind of conflict.”
That fact should not diminish what those attending the Remembrance Day ceremonies believe, but “should bolster our resolve for change.”
Chaplain Wilson-Garrett offered prayer for the ceremony and fallen soldiers.
Following the indoor activities, those attending crowded around the cenotaph to lay wreaths, stand for a moment of silence, and hear the Last Post and Reveille.