ABOYNE – Wellington County Museum and Archives held a remembrance ceremony in Fergus Friday to commemorate the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for equality of all people, democracy and the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.
““Here at the museum, our job is to put history into context; sometimes, that’s easy but in an event like today and the sacrifice like what you see represented behind us on the lawn, that becomes impossible,” said Kyle Smith, activity programmer at Wellington County Museum and Archives.
Smith noted that no one can put the sacrifice of these 500 or so names represented on the lawn into any kind of context that makes sense, “which is why we have moments of silence in ceremonies such as today.”
“The only thing we can do and I would ask all of you to do while we’re here is to just think of one name; one of those families, and one of those sacrifices that were made in service to all of us,” he said.
The museum put 500 markers on the front lawn of the institution that represent the 500 soldiers from Wellington County that served in the first world war, World War II, Korea and Afghanistan.
Legion from Arthur, Drayton, Elora, Erin , Fergus, Guelph, Harriston, Mount Forest, Palmerston participated in the ceremony. Each legion representative stood up on the podium and listed all the names of the soldiers in their jurisdictions who sacrificed their lives.
“Over the decades, brave Canadian soldiers have stood shoulder to shoulder with their allies against aggressors who have threatened our shared sacred values like equality of all people, democracy and the rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion,” said Warden Kelly Linton.
“These values need to be as important today as they were when these brave Canadians fought and died for them in years gone by.”
Linton reminded guests that Wellington County has paid homage to Victoria Cross heroes by naming streets at Wellington Place after Federick Campbell and Samuel Honey.
“This will ensure that every time that we see those street signs, we will be reminded of the sacrifices that these men made and others from across Wellington County,” Linton said.
On Nov. 10, the museum and the legions will put a remembrance candle on each marker and will light them at dawn as a tribute to the fallen across Wellington County. The candles will remain lit until Nov. 12.
Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com