BY ALEXANDRIA FRISBY
The town of Oakville gathered Nov. 11 to pay respects to those who fought for our freedom. This year marks the 100th year of Remembrance Day. The ceremony took place at George’s Square Memorial where hundreds gathered to honour to those who died in the 1914-1918 War.
Representatives from organizations including Bulldogs Hockey, various funeral homes around Oakville, and even Sheridan College placed a wreath at the memorial. One by one their names were called and they brought up their wreaths and placed them together in honour of those who fought and continue to fight for us. Churches around Oakville also placed wreaths, sharing a prayer which each placement.
The veterans present at the event stood in front of the memorial while each group placed their wreath and they watched as hundreds honoured them for their service.
Many veterans spoke sharing their appreciation for those in the audience, and even some family members of past veterans expressed their gratitude.
Steve Thomas, president of the Oakville Legion, took to the podium to read a prayer and discuss our freedom and give thanks to those who fought for it
“They fought for our freedoms, freedoms which we live out day to day, freedoms which mean we can gather here to day and give thanks together, freedoms which let people work for our common good, we also have the freedom to disagree, where young people are supporting both the Montreal Canadians and the Toronto Maple Leafs,” he laughs. “These freedoms are worth celebrating as they are the fabric of our life and for which we give thanks,” Thomas said.
The speeches concluded with a song sung by Thomas joined by the audience. The veterans standing toward the front of the memorial saluted and turned toward the start of the parade. The bag pipes started and the police academy kicked off the marching of the parade. Countless lines of troops, sergeants and veterans took to the streets of downtown while being cheered on by the community. Various flags were waving, and the troops were making their way down with a left, left, left right left. The parade made its way down to Bronte lakeshore and came back up to the square.
Each chest had a poppy, and each hand had a flag as the public saluted and celebrated 100 years of bravery from those who died for our safety, and those who continue to fight for it. As the audience bowed their heads, a moment of silence took over the park and the thoughts of those gone filled the heads of many. When the moment of silence ended, and the parade concluded, those in attendance had time to visit the memorials, the plaques of those fallen, and the posters filled with historic pictures and facts about the War.
The Town of Oakville conducted an emotional celebration of 100 years of Remembrance Day, and are making sure the words said and the wreaths placed will be remembered for centuries to come.