Remembrance Day and the cost it comes with were acknowledged Sunday afternoon.
A sizeable crowd with representatives from across the county gathered outside the Pictou cenotaph for the County’s Remembrance Day service.
Speaking for this year’s Remembrance Day address was Michael Simmons, who delivered a fiery speech not only surmising what our veterans and fallen soldiers accomplished, but also how the country has developed in the years that followed.
“The county knows, the province knows, Canada knows and the world knows and we will never forget what these people have done for each one of us,” Simmons said. “They fought with a vision of the future, they fought for freedom- for freedom of Canada, for you and I regardless of our race, colour or creed. They fought with the vision that they could make Canada a better place and they accomplished that mission. They brought us peace, they gave us the right to vote, they gave us the right to go to church if we want to. They gave us the right to walk on the streets unmolested. They gave us the right to gather together as we did today. They gave their freedom so you and I could do what we’re doing today- to stand here, together as Canadians.”
While holding veterans in high esteem Simmons spoke of how the country fell short of the ideals they fought for.
“They passed a torch on to us and I have to tell you that our government and our people of this country got a D average in holding that torch high,” Simmons said. “We went our separate ways. We didn’t fight for what they fought for. We are not Canadians unless we come together as people of one cause, with equality for each and everyone of us from coast to coast, from north to south.”
Simmons urged all in attendance to “hold the torch a little higher.”
“We are one in God and Country, no matter how you perceive God to be,” Simmons said. “We need to get together and look at each other not by our colour or by our race or by our creed but look at each other as Canadians because that’s what they gave us and that’s what they want us to carry on. And if we don’t do that, we are letting them down. They lie in many different lands. They lie in the ocean, their graves. Only whitecaps are their headstones. But they gave their lives so that you and I could have the freedoms you and I have today. And if we don’t protect those freedoms we’re losing out on the things that benefit the most.”
Simmons stated that while Canada is a country made of multiple nationalities “we’re all Canadian.”
“So let’s start something new in our country today as we remember those whose names are inscribed in this cenotaph here,” Simmons said. “Let’s tell them that they didn’t do it in vain. Let’s tell them that we’re going to start being Canadians. We’re going to start by being tall. We’re going to stand shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours. We’re going to love and respect each one regardless of what we are or who we think we are.”
The Prayer of Remembrance was offered by Adeline Luckie, bugler John MacDonald performed ‘The Last Post’, while the Act of Remembrance was chaired by Bill Echlin.
Sean Fraser, Central Nova MP, lays a wreath at the Municipality of the County of Pictou Remembrance Day service on Sunday at the cenotaph in Pictou.