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Branch 128 hosting Remembrance Day service


SYDNEY — While the number of war veterans may be declining, legions in Cape Breton are continuing to do what they can to ensure that the sacrifices made by those who have served the country are not forgotten.

“The First World War vets are pretty well gone, the Second World War vets are starting to dwindle and the Korean vets, but we also have Afghanistan vets coming back so we have to keep this going for them,” said Wes Nichols, poppy campaign manager with Royal Canadian Legion branch 128, which will serve as host legion for Remembrance Day services in the Sydney area this year.

“It rotates in the Sydney area. It’s our turn to be the host legion, last year it was branch 12 and next year it will be branch 138.”

The memorial service on Remembrance Day will be at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High. Branch 128 will also hold its own church service to mark the day, Nichols said, noting many individual legions do so after the joint service ends.

“We all go back to our own legion and the people there have the wreaths and the crosses and they do their own ceremonies at their own branches,” he said.

To launch the annual poppy campaign each year, members of the host legion visit Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke, to present him with the first poppy of the campaign.

“In the Sydney area, the host branch this year in Whitney Pier is doing a fine job and it’s something where citizens now can go and show their poppy, show their pride and also that we never forget,” Clarke said.

The mayor also complimented local schools for the work they do to encourage remembrance, along with the legions and with service personnel.

“I think the act of remembrance is growing,” Clarke said. “While veterans’ numbers have declined from traditional wars ... Second World War, Korean, peacekeepers, conflicts, but if you look at the schools, it’s the children that are now leading the way with respect and remembrance and they’re doing phenomenal programs that are very powerful.”

He noted those acts are taking place at the elementary, junior high and senior high school levels.

“There is no greater honour for those who have served and those that did lay down and make the ultimate sacrifice,” Clarke said. “The school program is proof to me that we’re never going to forget.

“Nov. 11 is the day that we should remember all the veterans it’s because of what their sacrifices were that we’re where we are today.”

“The First World War vets are pretty well gone, the Second World War vets are starting to dwindle and the Korean vets, but we also have Afghanistan vets coming back so we have to keep this going for them,” said Wes Nichols, poppy campaign manager with Royal Canadian Legion branch 128, which will serve as host legion for Remembrance Day services in the Sydney area this year.

“It rotates in the Sydney area. It’s our turn to be the host legion, last year it was branch 12 and next year it will be branch 138.”

The memorial service on Remembrance Day will be at Whitney Pier Memorial Junior High. Branch 128 will also hold its own church service to mark the day, Nichols said, noting many individual legions do so after the joint service ends.

“We all go back to our own legion and the people there have the wreaths and the crosses and they do their own ceremonies at their own branches,” he said.

To launch the annual poppy campaign each year, members of the host legion visit Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke, to present him with the first poppy of the campaign.

“In the Sydney area, the host branch this year in Whitney Pier is doing a fine job and it’s something where citizens now can go and show their poppy, show their pride and also that we never forget,” Clarke said.

The mayor also complimented local schools for the work they do to encourage remembrance, along with the legions and with service personnel.

“I think the act of remembrance is growing,” Clarke said. “While veterans’ numbers have declined from traditional wars ... Second World War, Korean, peacekeepers, conflicts, but if you look at the schools, it’s the children that are now leading the way with respect and remembrance and they’re doing phenomenal programs that are very powerful.”

He noted those acts are taking place at the elementary, junior high and senior high school levels.

“There is no greater honour for those who have served and those that did lay down and make the ultimate sacrifice,” Clarke said. “The school program is proof to me that we’re never going to forget.

“Nov. 11 is the day that we should remember all the veterans it’s because of what their sacrifices were that we’re where we are today.”

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