We will remember

Chris Keeping
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Many attend ceremonies in Port aux Basques

The room was filled to near capacity as those who gathered together to honor and remember those who have fought for Canada in the past, present and future.

The Remembrance Day banquet at Branch 11 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Port aux Basques began with friendly chatter, as people began to fill the room to reminisce.

The room was filled to near capacity as those who gathered together to honor and remember those who have fought for Canada in the past, present and future.

The Remembrance Day banquet at Branch 11 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Port aux Basques began with friendly chatter, as people began to fill the room to reminisce.

After the guests proceeded to their tables, the ceremony started with the presentation of Colours by members of the 2357 St. James Army Cadet Corps.

Legion President Leo Connolly gave opening remarks. He said he regretted having to postpone the Legion's school programs due to the H1N1 precautions, but hoped that they may be able to proceed with them in the near future.

The meaning of Remembrance Day was marked in several ways including a toast to absent comrades by Comrade Joyce Samms, the playing of last post before two minutes of silence followed by reveille, and the turning of a page in the Book of Remembrance by Legion Chaplin Rev. Patricia Ritchie.

Throughout the service a small round table set for one was preset in front of the head table. The meaning of its symbolism was explained, including: the single rose displayed in a vase represents the families and loved ones who keep the faith awaiting a soldiers' return; the white tablecloth represents the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms; a slice of lemon is on the bread plate to represent their bitter fate; salt on the bread plate is symbolic of the families' tears as they wait; a candle is life; a bible is faith; and the empty chair represents those not able to be at the ceremony.

Kelvin Parsons, Burgeo-La Poile MHA, toasted the Royal Canadian Legion before recounting the history of the well-known poem In Flander's Fields.

Port aux Basques Mayor Brian Button was the guest speaker. He spoke about the rights that soldiers have fought, protected and are still fighting for.

He used an example of how in some counties limit the amount of food a person gets, while we have the freedom to choose. He also had a moment of silence and asked those in attendance to listen. He explained afterward that during that moment of silence no one heard gunshots, airplanes flying above, bombings, sirens or tanks driving by the windows.

Mayor Button said each individual has their own way of marking Remembrance Day and that soldiers will never be forgotten.

The Legion and Ladies Auxiliary made several donations to various groups including the cadet corps, the LeGrow Health Centre and local schools. Certificates of appreciation were given to other organizations as well.

Earlier in the day another crowd gathered at St. James Elementary and at the memorial park to lay wreaths and mark two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Legion, James Army Cadet Corps, LeGrow Health Centre

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, Canada

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