Photo by: Jorge Salas
On Friday, Nov. 11, people gathered at ceremonies throughout the Niagara Region to honour the lives of the soldiers who fought to protect the values and freedoms of Canadians.
Remembrance Day is observed in Canada every year on Nov. 11, and provides a chance for many Canadians to reflect on the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who risked or lost their lives to defend Canada. Many choose to demonstrate their support for our soldiers by purchasing poppy replicas and wearing them next to their hearts in commemoration.
This year was no different, with services appearing across Niagara to provide citizens with an opportunity to pay tribute to their heroes. “On Nov. 11, remember those men and women who served and sacrificed to protect the freedoms that we enjoy today,” reads the official Niagara Region website about Remembrance Day.
There were two services run by the Niagara Region taking place in St. Catharines, both at Memorial Park; among many other services held by different groups, organizations and institutions. Both services were led by the Royal Canadian Legion, with Branch 24 leading one on St. Paul Street West and Branch 138 leading the other at Merritt Street and Walnut Street.
Outgoing mayor, Walter Sendzik, was present at the cenotaph on St. Paul Street. He is known for traditionally reading historical letters written by overseas soldiers at St. Catharines Remembrance Day ceremonies, but for his final year as mayor, he took a different approach by reading a letter that he had written for the soldiers:
“Your words, written under some of the most extreme conditions in places so far from the familiar sites of St. Catharines, gave us a window into the sacrifices you and your fellow soldiers made to protect our freedoms against unimaginable evil,” read Sendzik at the ceremony. “Rest easy, soldiers, I will never forget you.”
Remembrance Day is a chance for Canadians to come together and show their thanks to the many soldiers who fought to protect the Canada we live in today, and this year proved to be no exception.