MANITOUWADGE, ON – Tuesday, November 11th Royal Canadian Legion Branch 242 Sergeant at Arms Ray Gascon led a colour guard including Manitouwadge Fire Chief Owen Cranney and legionnaires, William (Bill) Warren, Cynthia Warren, and Excelda Cormie in the annual Remembrance Day Parade. In addition to members of the public, students and teachers from Manitouwadge High School, Manitouwadge Public School, Ecole publique Franco-Manitou and Our Lady of Lourdes School participated in the march which paused at the cenotaph where the Sergeant at Arms laid the first wreath prior to the procession continuing to the Recreation Centre where the official ceremony was held.
At the auditorium, Mr. Gascon and legionnaire Gary Sampson welcomed attendees, and invited everyone to join in singing the national anthem, before several minutes of silence to remember those who gave or lost their lives in past combats and peacekeeping missions as well as those who continue to serve, defending Canada and the rights and freedoms we enjoy. In Flanders Fields was read by Mr. Gascon before he invited Pastor Peter Ruel to share a prayer of remembrance. One noticeable changed from previous years was the absence of messages from government representatives such as Algoma-Manitoulin MPP MPP Michael Mantha, Thunder Bay – Superior North MP Patty Hadju or Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, when asked, the Sergeant at Arms explained he had not been provided with any letters.
Wreaths were placed as Mr. Sampson announced which government agency, non-profit group, business, school, or family was responsible for each and the name(s) of the individual(s) presenting when on behalf of a specific group. Though there were a significant number of wreaths, it went smoothly, as Keirsten Gascon directed those placing wreaths which included youth from each of the schools.
Thank you to everyone who participated to make this event worthwhile. For information regarding fundraising efforts by the Royal Canadian Legion and details of how donations are used, CLICK HERE.