Love, compassion themes at Veteran’s Unit service

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Veterans stood up for love, their country, all people, and freedom.

Those were the words of recreation therapist Dennis Chipman during the Remembrance Day service at the Northumberland Veterans Unit in Pictou on Sunday that acknowledged the contributions of those who have served and their role in ensuring Canada is a safe place.

Chipman told attendees — especially the younger ones — to always show love and compassion.

“Be kind to your neighbour. That’s honouring a veteran. Be kind to your mom and dad. That’s honouring a veteran.”

Multicultural Association of Pictou County co-chair Susan Shaw spoke about the organization and families who have made Pictou County home. She said it’s an honour to meet newcomer families, adding that they have “so much to bring with them.”

“It was because of you veterans that made this country safe and made people know that they could come here for safety and bring up their children.”

Families from the association were asked to present plaques to the residents of the unit, each adorned with their photo and thanking them for their service.

Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane said we observe Remembrance Day in order to “understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada stand for and what they have sacrificed for our country.”

She said, “I want you to know that your courage and selflessness has not and will not fade from our consciousness. Your stories and your legacies are meaningful in every way and will serve to humble and inspire future generations. May we remember that freedom is not free nor does it come without great sacrifices and fatal risks. It will be forever in our hearts.”

The service featured music from Lacey Morell-Pierre, performing her song Your Sacrifice as well as Colours of the Wind, Klorissa Farnsworth playing How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace, Second World War veteran and Northumberland Veterans Unit resident Bill Allen singing In Flanders Fields, Rebecca Decoste with the national anthem, Wendy-Lee Walsh with The Last Post and Reveille, and Robbie McInnis with The Lament.

Pastor Mike Simmons, left, and recreation therapist Dennis Chipman, right, hold the music of In Flanders Fields for the Northumberland Veterans Unit resident Bill Allen as he performs during the Remembrance Day service there. (Jess photo)