Undaunted by snow, sleet, and hail, hundreds of people gathered on John Abbott College’s Memorial Field to honour Canadian veterans in the annual Remembrance Day ceremony on November 9.
Eight 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, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Elementary, and Birchwood Elementary.
Tribute was paid to our veterans through poetry, song, and speeches by Rick Cartmel, retired Master Warrant officer in the Black Watch; the Honorable J. Michel Doyon, Lt. Governor of Quebec; and Anja Geitmann, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, among others.
The most poignant moment came when Joe Maxwell was called upon to recite The Act of Remembrance.
A 98-year-old WWII veteran, Maxwell served in Burma with the 1st Battalion of the Cameron Highlanders. There, he earned the Burma Star, a Defense Medal, and a Victory Medal.
Throughout the ceremony, Maxwell’s comrades made sure he was protected from the snow and cold, wrapping him in blankets. But now it was time. Shrugging off the blankets, Maxwell rose, and, with the guiding hand of Cartmel, he took the podium to recite The Act of Remembrance.
“They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We shall remember them.”
Following the ceremony, a bagpiper led the procession to the permanent War Memorial in front of the Raymond Building on Macdonald Campus. There, the Honorable J. Michel Doyon, Lt. Governor of Quebec, placed a wreath. As per tradition, people, from children to veterans, planted dozens of small Canadian flags around the War Memorial.