By Kristy Strauss –
Despite chilly temperatures, mixed with rain and snow, the Westboro community gathered at the local cenotaph to pay tribute to our veterans on Remembrance Day.
The Westboro Legion hosted the annual ceremonies on November 11, starting with a parade – featuring veterans and the sea, army and air cadets band – that marched from the legion to the cenotaph. Approximately two hundred people came together to watch the service, which started with a performance by students at Churchill Alternative School.
The event also included a wreath laying by veterans and Westboro legion branch members, as well as Kitchissippi Councillor Katherine Hobbs and Mayor Jim Watson on behalf of the city.
Brent Craig, of the Westboro Legion, was the master of ceremonies and said remembering and honouring veterans goes beyond just one day.
“Although this is Remembrance Week throughout Canada, we will continue to honour and remember the sacrifices which have been made every day of the year,” he said.
Craig added that the service pays tribute to veterans, but also to the ones closest to them.
“We remember not only the men and women who fought for our country, but the many loved ones and friends who stayed behind – forced to wonder and worry for many days and nights,” he said.
Westboro Legion member and resident Barbara Pharand marched in the parade with her husband, Richard, and said she often thinks about her parents on Remembrance Day.
While Pharand was born in Canada, her parents were from Germany and lived under the Nazi regime in Berlin.
“My thoughts go back to the Second World War, and what my parents went through,” Pharand said, adding she heard many stories growing up about what it was like to live in Berlin at that time.
Her family was one of many who hid people from SS officers.
”My dad had to be a Hitler youth, he had no choice,” she said. “But at the same time, the family was hiding people.”
Pharand, who was born in Canada during the Korean War, said she often thinks of her family and the many others who displayed this kind of bravery and courage during the Second World War on Remembrance Day.
“It’s a different side to what’s written in the history books,” she said. “It’s a side that should be said.”
While she reflects on her family’s actions on Remembrance Day, Pharand also has hopes for the future.
“It would be great if we could have peace,” she said.