A Remembrance Day ceremony in Winnipeg at HMCS Chippawa Saturday morning allowed people to pay their respects to those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Hundreds gathered in to the Naval Reserve Division for the ceremony and the crowd was complete with civilians and active service members reflecting on the scarifies made by the veterans.
“It’s always just giving back. Even through the hard times, I want to give back. And I really keep that with me, as they gave back to their country, even though it was really hard on them,” said CPO Wynn Loiselle-Shire, Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.
The ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. and lasted for about an hour. The HMCS Chippawa band played the national anthems of Canada, USA, and the United Kingdom. There were red poppies donning the white snow outside and folks in attendance laid down some wreaths.
The colour guard marched in, there were a few heartfelt speeches, and then the playing of the Last Post followed by a moment of silence.
Among the crowd was 98-year-old Robert Watkins, a retired left-tenant commander who served in World War 2. Watkins has been part of the Navy since he joined the sea cadets at just fourteen years of age and he said he feels the gratitude from those around him.
“I feel that I’ve contributed something to Canada. And I hope the young people today respect Canada, and if and when the balloon goes up again, they won’t hesitate to protect us,” he said.
Watkins said he hopes today’s officers keep those same values and training which was instilled in him when he was young.
“I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done. Not only for Chippawa but for myself, too. It’s been a satisfaction to me.” he added.
While remembering those who came before, Commander Michael Cuell looks toward the future and those who fight during today’s conflicts. In turn, carrying on the torch passed down by previous generations.
“It’s leaving your family to join a much larger family. And saying that you’re going to put the principles of citizenship first and foremost and stand up and defend the nation’s ideals,” he said.
— With files from Global’s Katherine Dornian.
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