Huge crowd pays respect to military veterans

Some 1,500 people of all ages took part in Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 3 at John Abbott College and Macdonald Campus

Standing at the podium surrounded by 1,500 people on the John Abbott football field, Joe Maxwell, gazed up into the sunny November sky and said “It’s good to be alive.”

A 97-year-old WWII vet, Maxwell was one of the special guests at the November 3 Remembrance Day ceremony featuring veterans and dignitaries who spoke, recited poetry or contributed with music. Anja Geitmann, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, addressed the crowd, and Defne Helvacioglu, Macdonald Campus Student Society President, recited the poem Nameless.

Seven local schools took part in the ceremony organized by John Abbott, including Macdonald campus, John Abbott College, Macdonald High School, Edgewater Elementary, Dorset Elementary, St-Patrick’s Elementary, and Birchwood Elementary. The crowd, which filled the stands, also circled the speakers, 4-5 people deep.

The ceremony ended with veterans leading a large procession to the permanent War Memorial in front of the Raymond Building. As per tradition, people planted dozens of  small Canadian flags around the War Memorial.