SPRING BAY—Annual Decoration Day ceremonies were held last Sunday at the Manitoulin District Cenotaph to honor all of those Canadian men and women who fought for our freedom and many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice during the First and World Wars II, the Korean War and other conflicts.
After the march, led by Parade Marshal Ron Steeves with Legionnaires, veterans and visiting dignitaries, Master of Ceremonies Comrade Roy Eaton told the large gathering: “I begin by acknowledging that we are coming together here today on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people: the Ojibwe, the Odawa and the Potawatomi. We acknowledge their stewardship of this land and its surrounding waters which is central to their life and spirituality. With the Mnidoo Mnising peoples, let us live in respect and gratitude for all creation.
“We gather today to pay tribute to the men and women who have served in the forces of our country and those of our allies,” Mr. Eaton said. “Through their courage and their sacrifices, these men and women have helped ensure that we live in freedom and peace, while promoting the same in the world. The white crosses you see represent the 129 names of Manitoulin veterans who gave their lives in the cause of freedom during World Wars I and II and in Korea. We thank you for being here and for the respect you have for all veterans.
The invocation was given by the Reverend Whitney Bruno of the Pastoral Charge of Little Current United Church, followed by the parade to attention and a beautiful rendition of “O Canada” led by the Young Student Choir of the Manitoulin Public School (Mindemoya) under the direction of Patti Jo Woods.
Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, addressed the crowd. “It is great to be here, it has been a few years since this ceremony. Comrades, dignitaries and dear friends, it is always an honor for me to participate in your annual Decoration Day as you recognize and honor the brave men and women of Manitoulin Island who have served our country in times of war and peace and who have lost their lives in service.”
“Today we pay tribute to them and to the veterans who are still with us today. We remember all they did for our country. We also express our deepest gratitude to their family,” said MP Hughes. “We also do this by keeping those currently serving in our prayers and honoring our veterans for their years of service and dedication to our country.”
“Decorating Day exists to remember all Canadians who have served and put their lives on the line to defend our nation and our values,” continued MP Hughes. “And the government has a moral obligation to ensure that veterans are taken care of once they have completed their service. As many men and women return home to settle into civilian life, some struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and other effects of combat service. The fact that a recent Auditor General’s report indicates that (Veterans Affairs Canada) is taking far too long to complete benefits for veterans, some up to 10 months and some even longer, does not should not be the case. This is what we must continue to defend, for and with, for the needs of veterans every day, lest we and the government forget our obligation.
MP Hughes introduced Olha Sotska, from Ukraine, who is one of 41 interns brought to Ottawa from the country to do the Senators’ and MPs’ internship. “She was an excellent spokesperson for her country.”
A moved Ms Sotska said: “Every morning I read about the horrific attack on my country. Everyone deserves to be safe, but it has cost my country dearly. »
“I am very grateful to the countries of the world, including Canada, who support our country,” said Ms. Sotska. “There are many volunteers who provide support by fighting side by side with those of my country. I am grateful for the kind words and all the help my country receives.
MP Hughes saluted on behalf of MLA Michael Mantha, while Legion H District Commander Ken Faubert said, “It is a pleasure to attend these ceremonies here today in recognition of all the people who have not returned from global conflicts and those who are now fighting for our freedom.
A moment of silence was observed with the lamentations and the act of remembrance with the Sudbury and District Pipe Band performing “Amazing Grace”.
Accompanied by a member of the Manitoulin Sea Cadets, the following people took part in the wreath laying ceremony: Silver Cross mothers, Leila Thureson; MP Carol Hughes, Patti-Jo Woods on behalf of the Province of Ontario; Bob Lamb of the Canadian Armed Forces; District H District Commander Ken Faubert, who also represented the Legion’s H-3 area; Ron Steeves on behalf of Aboriginal Veterans; Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Branch 177 President Sue Morin; Jim Woods, president of RCL Branch 514; Army Navy Air Force Veterans Branch 176 Manitoulin North Shore First Vice President Jim Machum; Bob Jewell, President of the Manitoulin Navy League; Roy Eaton, first vice-president of the Manitoulin North Shore Navy Veterans; Manitoulin 348 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps-Commander Sylvain Boucher; Spanish River Chapter of the Eastern Star Worthy Matron and Grand Representative Vanesa Jo Woods; Noble Bruce Gordon of the Sudbury Shrine Club’s Haweater Unit; District of Sudbury/Manitoulin Masons of Doric Lodge Venerable Master Mike Terry; Sudbury District Masons Venerable Brother Mark Woodlife escorted by Allan Lloyd; John Hill of the Manitoulin OPP Detachment; Municipality of Central Manitoulin Councilor Al Tribinevicius; Olha Sotska on behalf of the men, women and children of Ukraine; Donna Foster on behalf of her parents, Don and Sarah Jane Watson, who both served in the British Army; and Marlene Jewell on behalf of John Bryant.
The parade then proceeded to the Memorial Gardens where Linda Bowerman, Secretary-Treasurer of the Manitoulin Cenotaph Committee, laid a wreath at the Women’s Memorial and Miss Selena Bruno laid a wreath at the Youth Memorial in partnership with the veterans.
The CMPS Youth Choir then led the singing of “God Save the Queen.”