Veterans at Remembrance Day in Nelson in 2014.

Legion ready for Remembrance Day

Shirley Hale, who works at the Legion, outlines this year's Remembrance Day events.

“I seem to be using the word beautiful a lot,” Shirley Hale commented in the middle of her interview with the Star on Friday.

Hale is the secretary-manager at Nelson’s Royal Canadian Legion, and in fact she did use that word several times in her outline of the events for the upcoming Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The first event of the day, Hale says, will be a ceremony at the cemetery at 7:45 a.m.

“People place poppies on the graves of veterans. There are many soldiers laid to rest there that have no families any more. There are graves that never get said hello to again, but we do it every Remembrance Day. They get visited once a year. I find that amazing. The flag is lowered to half mast, and a bugler plays the Last Post. It’s beautiful.”

At 10:25 the parade begins to form outside the Legion on Victoria St. At 10:40 it will proceed to the cenotaph.

“The parade marshall, Doug Wood, forms the parade,” Hale said. “The veterans are front and centre. Their families join in, of course. The ones who carry the flag have to be Legion members. Legion members honouring our vets that is what we stand for. Sometimes there are kids, a veteran’s grandkids or just kids whose family has taught them about Remembrance Day.

“At the cenotaph, Jeffrey Donnelly of St. Saviours church says a prayer and there are other speakers. There is a flyby, then Doug Wood will call out the laying of the wreath, and we have two cadets this year laying it. Other people choose to lay wreaths as well.

“The flyby makes me cry. I cry watching the elderly veterans sit because they are so well taken care of because it is always cold. That makes me proud, as a Canadian, that they are being tended to like that.

“At 11:40 the parade returns to the legion and the rest of the day there. Michelle Bennett makes the most amazing Remembrance Day cake to honour the veterans. It is worth coming to the Legion just to view it. Last year’s was so detailed, with the crosses of Flanders Fields. She does a beautiful job of honouring the veterans with that cake. The ladies’ auxiliary makes sandwiches and squares and there is a piano and singing. It is joyful, people gathered in the spirit of honouring the veterans. There is a lot of laughter and camaraderie, lots of emotion. It is not a sombre day.”

 

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