Row by row, they marched toward the Remembrance Day ceremony on the waterfront in Kingston, Ontario. And although they were there to honor veterans of the world wars, the violence in Ukraine and Israel could not be ignored.
Residents, young and old, gathered at the Cenotaph to pause and reflect on the lives lost in wars past.
“Those we remember and respect paid the ultimate price, and we were fortunate to be able to come home safely,” said Master Warrant Officer (Ret.) Kevin Luther.
“I think about my grandfather who fought in the war, and he was there from start to finish, and he was one of the lucky ones that came home,” said resident Jason White. of Kingston.
“I always remember my father,” added retired Leading Seaman Merrill Gooderham.
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For those who have served our country, the annual Day of Remembrance is always a somber day as memories of those lost and time spent abroad return.
“It’s very moving when I’m there and they do The last message, moment of silence and things like that,” said retired seaman Charles D’Aoust.
“It’s hard to hold back the tears.”
But on this Remembrance Day, it’s hard not to think about the present and the conflicts currently taking place in the Middle East and Europe.
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Participants in the ceremony want the violence abroad to end.
“In the current climate, we need to think hard. There’s a lot going on,” resident Jane Stolz said.
“It’s getting a little sickening that people can’t sit down and talk to resolve these conflicts, they have to resort to violence… it really sucks,” D’Aoust added.
“It’s disheartening that the bullies continue to win, for the most part…if only people could learn to live together,” said resident Bett Leverette.
As another Memorial Day comes and passes, the fighting taking place in the Middle East and Ukraine gives deeper meaning to those who fought and died to keep the peace in our country.
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