DIGBY, NS – People gathered together to remember once again this November 11 at the Digby Regional High School.
Each person in the room is affected by each conflict Canada has gone through in different ways, whether they themselves, a parent, sibling, family member or friend was involved.
Some people, like Saskia Geerts, remember all too well what war can cost. The town she was raised in outside Amsterdam in the Netherlands was liberated by Canadian soldiers in May 1945.
Her grandmother was pregnant with Saskia’s father, and was starving, eating tulip bulbs to survive.
Saskia doesn’t know what would have happened had the Canadians not saved them.
“You can’t fully fathom the impact this had on people, but on a day like today, you feel that it still has an effect on people,” she said.
Mayor Ben Cleveland, who laid a wreath on behalf on the Town of Digby, was also personally affected
His father served in Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. He died three years ago.
“You hear about vets who don’t speak about their experiences until late in life – my father was like that,” said Cleveland.
“Finding out what he went through was huge, and today means a lot to us because of that.”
- The colour guard marches in, with emcee Greg Turner in the background.
- The guard is inspected.
- The crowd stands and military members salute as The Last Post is played.
- A young cadet stands dutifully during the ceremony.
- The Act of Remembrance is read by Reverend Don Robertson, followed by a short prayer for those who have fought and fallen, and those who’ve survived and all who continue to fight.
- Virginia Shaw lays a wreath on behalf of the Silver Cross Mothers of Canada.
- West Nova MP Colin Fraser pauses a moment after laying a wreath on behalf of the Federal Government of Canada.
- Retired military member Robert Handspiker lays a wreath on behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia.
- Mayor Ben Cleveland lays a wreath on behalf of the Town of Digby.
- Linda Gregory lays a wreath on behalf of the Municipality of Digby
- A wreath is laid by Major Fiona Haines accompanied by Master Warrant Officer Boothby on behalf of 14 Wing Greenwood.
- Constable Colin Helm lays a wreath on behalf of the Digby RCMP.
- Addie Hersey lays a wreath on behalf of the Youth of Canada.
- A wreath is laid in memory of the Merchant Navy laid by Comrade Lt Navy Gary Newman.
- Robert Morgan lays a wreath on behalf of the Digby Fire Department.
- Margaret and Tony Gray lay a wreath in memory of Fred ‘Bunk’ Ells, a Second World War veteran, who passed recently at the age of 95.
- A wreath is laid for all fallen comrades from Tideview Terrace by Comrade Arnold Trask.
- Trask salutes in front of the many wreaths laid at the ceremony.
- Grace and Ramona Vincent share a moment after laying a wreath for their father, Hugh Vincent.
- Digby’s Legion branch president Keith Stevens salutes after laying a wreath for Joseph Currie, from his family.
- Two men lay wreaths at the same time near the end of the ceremony.
- The wreaths that lined the front of the gymnasium.