As November 11th approaches the veterans will be out in the area selling poppies and reminding the public that Remembrance Day is this coming weekend. I had a conversation with my father last night about why I think it is so important that he wears his uniform on November the 11th.
(Lt Col V.R. Paddon and Sgt. R.G. Paddon - Remembrance Day 2011)
My father is a well decorated retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Forces. He has served in a number of wars from Borneo to Bosnia and is the recipient of the Order of Military Merit (a very distinguished medal) and come Thursday November 8th, he will add the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to his ever growing rack of medals. As we sat there discussing why I felt the need for him to wear his uniform complete with medals and blue United Nations Barret it became apparent to me that the years of being dragged to the cenotaph in the cold to listen to the hymns and the poems about a time and place completely unknown to me had worked. I now understood the need for parents to bring their children down, to see the old soldiers, to understand that this was real and continues to be real in our world today. It is important for the youth of today to see the tears of the veterans are real and ask the questions about the medals and the different uniforms that are worn. It is important for them to Thank those vetereans for sacrafices they may never speak of. It is important for everyone to understand and appreciate those that were lost so that we ensure that these types of wars never happen again.
So, as I do every year I urge my friends and family to pick up a poppy from a veteran and thank him/her for their service and sacrifice and wear that poppy proud and on Sunday make the effort to go to one of the many services across the city. The 45 minutes in the cold and wind is nothing compared to the conditions these soldiers subjected themselves to for our freedom. if you are unable to make it to a service then give the veterans the respect they deserve and take the 2 minutes of silence for those who serve and continue to serve.
If you have never been to a Remembrance Day Ceremony before I would highly encourage you to come down to Gore Park on Sunday. This ceremony is the largest in the city, complete with all Military Garrison's, the Legions, the Cadet Corps, Dignitaries, etc. The service begins at 10:30 am and lasts approximately 45 minutes.
Additional services occur across the city at the following locations:
ANCASTER: 310 Wilson St. E@ 10:30 am
LYNDEN : Lynden Legion - 206 Lynden Rd @ 10:30 am
GLANBROOK: Glanbrook Arena - 3500 Binbrook Rd @ 10:30 am
WATERDOWN: Royal Canadian Legion - 79 Hamilton St North @ 10:30 am
STONEY CREEK: Stoney Creek Cenotaph - Hwy 8 and King St @ 10:30 am
MOUNT HOPE: War Plane Heritage Museum - Hamilton Airport (Airport Road) @ 10:30 am (This is an indoor location with seating)
DUNDAS: Dundas Community Centre - 10 Market St @ 10:30 am
~LEST WE FORGET~