We all know someone who, in some way, has served our country. It could be a great-parent, it could be a friend, it could even be yourself. Being a veteran does not stop at the World Wars. Today, there are members of our community volunteering their lives, both locally and overseas, to protect our country, our people, and ensure a future.
There was a brief period of time in World War I and World War II when members of our military were called up to serve our country.However, Canada has a long history of apprehension when it comes to compulsory military service.
Drafting of our military ended after the Second World War. Beyond that, all men and women who have served and continue to serve our country, choose to enter the Canadian Armed Forces.
Fred Kendall of Oakville is one of those who chose to enroll in our nation’s military. In 1943 at age 16, Fred volunteered himself for the Royal Canadian Air Force. Graduating near the end of World War II, Fred received his wings but was unable to use them. It was at this time President Truman dropped the atom bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, resulting in nearly 80,000 deaths and ending World War II.
At 91, Fred continues to serve Canada and marches each and every year in the November 11th Bronte Legion Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Armistice Day, which was inaugurated in 1919, did not reflect the November 11th we know today. Held in correlation with Thanksgiving, Canadians observed the date with little public demonstration for our veterans. In 1928, some prominent citizens, many of them veterans, pushed for greater recognition and to separate the remembrance of wartime sacrifice from the Thanksgiving holiday.
In 1931, the Federal government decreed that the newly named Remembrance Day would be held on November 11th, and Thanksgiving would be moved to another day in October.
Every year around our nation, veterans, dignitaries and members of the Canadian public gather to emphasize the memory of fallen soldiers and recall those who served in our nation’s defence.
This year, Remembrance Day takes place on a Sunday, with 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The events are expected to be memorable this year, and there are many opportunities to honour our veterans at ceremonies across Oakville and Burlington.
Fred says, “this is a piece of history we should never forget. Many men and women gave their lives so we could live our lives today. Attending a ceremony is a small sacrifice to make over their ultimate sacrifice.”
You can take part in a Remembrance Ceremony at one of these locations:
November 4, 2018, 10 a.m.
The Royal Canadian Legion parade will proceed west along Lakeshore Road from 79 Jones St. to the Cenotaph for the Ceremony of Remembrance, hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion.
George’s Square Ceremony
November 11, 2018, 11 a.m.
The Veterans Parade will proceed east along Lakeshore Road to Trafalgar Road and north on Trafalgar Road into George’s Square for the Ceremony of Remembrance, hosted by Oakville Legion Branch 114.
A Ceremony of Remembrance will take place on November 11, 2018, 11 a.m.
Sunrise Remembrance Day Service
November 11, 2018, 9 a.m.
(Spencer Smith Park)
This 30-minute ceremony takes place at the Naval Ships Memorial Monument in Spencer Smith Park.
For more information, contact the
Burl-Oak Veterans at 905-632-3118.
Remembrance Day Parade
November 11, 2019, 10:30 a.m.
The parade starts at Central Public School. Brant to Elgin Street, Elgin to Locust Street, Locust to Ontario Street.
Remembrance Day Service
November 11, 2018, 11 a.m.
(Cenotaph, City Hall (426 Brant St.)) This 45 to 60-minute ceremony is held at the Cenotaph, on the north side of
City Hall. For more information, contact the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 at 905-639-6400
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we remember.
by Anneliese Lawton