LAKEFIELD — Hundreds gathered for a Remembrance Day ceremony, organized by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 77, at the Lakefield Cenotaph on Friday morning, honouring the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces through prayer, music and a moment of silence held at 11 a.m.
Lenore Kuch was among those in attendance. She’s been coming to Remembrance Day services at the Lakefield cenotaph since 1959. It’s become an important annual tradition for the longtime Lakefield resident, whose late husband served with NATO in Germany in the 1950s.
“It’s grown a lot. I’m really glad to see so many young people honouring the veterans, otherwise they wouldn’t have any memory or remember anything about the wars. This is their only touch with what the country has been through,” Kuch told The Examiner. “That’s why this is so important.”
Lakefield District Public School students opened Friday’s Remembrance Day ceremony with a rendition of ‘O Canada.’ The performance was followed by a prayer led by Rev. Ann Blane, minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lakefield.
“We remember those who did not come home alive … and all who have sacrificed so much,” said Blane, adding that Remembrance Day is a time to honour “fallen comrades,” while moving toward healing and hope.
The ongoing war in Ukraine was underscored.
“To watch war in real time (in Ukraine) is such a strong reminder of how much we should be grateful for,” Lakefield Baptist Church Pastor Peter Moore said. “We ache with gratitude for those who have paid the ultimate price through the many wars our armed services have engaged in. We will never forget.”
Fifteen-year-old Eva Sheppard, a cadet with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment 2672, was one of several attendees who laid wreaths.
“It’s important we acknowledge what happened on Remembrance Day,” Sheppard said. “It’s great we’re part of it and we can contribute what we can, laying our wreaths to remember people who have fallen before us, to show respect to those people,” she continued.
Chris Landry, an active member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, also participated.
Landy, who served 22 years with the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment before joining the air force in 2008, said it was encouraging to see so many young people in attendance.
“It’s nice to see they’re taking an interest and I hope they take lessons away from this; get to know the vets, hear their stories and carry them on. For the older folks, the veterans, it’s bittersweet, because they keep getting fewer and fewer. Some of them I’ve known, some of them I’ve lost.”
Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner