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Written By JOSHUA SANTOS
It was a solemn afternoon as dignitaries and guests joined together for a remembrance service at the Caledon East Cenotaph on Sunday, Nov. 4.
A vigil at the cenotaph was held by Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) 253 Crescent from Bolton followed by march on the colours from Zone E3 Sergeant at Arms Comrade Chuck Simpson and the Caledon Honour Guard.
Chris Skalozub, Zone E3 deputy zone commander and president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 233 in Orangeville was in the parade. He served in the early seventies as a medic with the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“It was during the Cold War of course but I only stayed in for a few years,” said Skalozub
He reflected on the importance of Remembrance Day and what it means to him.
“I would say it's for everybody whose paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom,” said Skalozub.
He said we should think about veterans who fought in the military before and those who enlist today.
“Everybody always sees the old guy from World War II as a veteran. A veteran is anybody whose served and signed his name on that dotted line because you're expandable' said Skalozub.
“You don't have to be old to be a veteran. You can be as young as 18-years-old and you become a veteran because as soon as you become a member of the military, as soon as you finish your basic training, you are now a veteran.”
Mayor Allan Thompson shared a few words prior to the singing of O Canada by the 1st Caledon East Guides.
“We're here to honour and pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice to secure the freedom and preserve our democracy, said Thompson.
He also recognized Russ Brown, 100, who was awarded two medals of service for his contributions to training members of the Canadian Air Force during the Second World War.
“On this cenotaph, there are messages and names to remind us the lost in The Great War, World War II and the Korean War. We also remember those who served and those who were lost during the conflicts in the Middle East. We honour the Canadian servicemen, women and our allies serving in peacekeeping missions around the world today.”
He said the poppy is a symbol of courage and that we should pause to remember and be thankful.
Skalozub said the military is a brotherhood and family. He said they look after the veterans at the legion regardless of their age.
“We come here from Orangeville with our colour party and we help with the Caledon East Remembrance Day because the Bolton branch closed. We cover that. We cover a big area,” said Skalozub.
Faeron Darrell petty officer (second class) with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 253 Crescent was in the parade as a guard. She has been a sea cadet since she was 15-years-old. She discussed what Remembrance Day means to her and the importance of the annual tradition.
“It means honouring people who have fought for us, our country, risking their lives, risking their families to make sure we have a good life to live in the future,” said Darrell.
“It's empowering to young cadets and young children to see these great people doing things for their country and in the future, maybe they can do something in turn for that. It's important to show that young children can do those things as well.”
Darrell's family is military orientated. She said she was born with that passion. She is motivated to explore the military, particularly the navy as a career option.
She said she was shy at the beginning but learned to be a leader over her three-year tenure with the cadets. She also made good friends.
“The people you meet, when fighting or just friends going to war with, you definitely make lasting friendships,” said Darrell.
Skalozub shared some advice to adolescents considering a career in the military. He said they should obtain their high school diploma.
“It just makes life so much easier. If you don't have your high school diploma and you go in the military, you'll still be able to get a job in the military but once you have your high school diploma, it just opens up a few extra doors where you can advance yourself a little quicker in different things,” said Skalozub.
Area coun. Nick deBoer shared a reading and read the In Flanders Fields poem, Peter Zarzecki performed The Last Post, Sandhill Pipes and Drums held the Silence and Lament, Simpson performed an Act of Remembrance, Zone E3 Commander Judi Giovanetti read The Honour Roll and Rev. Ross Leckie of the Caledon East United Church performed an invocation and communal prayers.
David Tilson, M.P. for Dufferin-Caledon, Sylvia Jones, M.P.P. for Dufferin-Caledon, deBoer, Thompson, Royal Canadian Legion veterans and a representative of the Ontario Provincial Police, Town of Caledon Fire and Emergency Services, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Peel Masonic Lodge #468 and Loyal Orange Lodge #288, community groups, schools and organizations laid a wreath the cenotaph.
Darryl Thompson concluded the ceremony by performing God Save the Queen.
Two more services will be held in town. A ceremony in Bolton begins at 9:30 a.m. at 28 Ann. St. an another one in Alton at the legion commences at 10:45 a.m.
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