Marching through the streets
Russell’s ceremony started with a parade through the streets involving different tiers of service including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Russell’s 5 Cyclone Air Cadets. Glover photo
RUSSELL – On Nov. 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed as an agreement of the warring parties to stop the bloodshed and end the First World War.
Exactly 100 years later, townships like Russell and Embrun are still honouring those who fought so valiantly for the freedom that Canadians live by today.
People of both Russell and Embrun gathered Sun., Nov. 11, to give their thanks to the brave soldiers of not just the First World War and Second World War, but also the Korean War, the Iraq War and all of the men and women who continue to serve Canada to this day.
“Today’s ceremony is special because it marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice on Nov. 11, 1918. More than 650,000 Canadians served in the war with over 170,000 wounded and 66,000 who lost their lives serving their country,” said MP Francis Drouin, addressing the Russell crowd. “On Nov. 11, 1918, the Canadian Corps headquarters received a message at 6:30 a.m., that an Armistice would be declared at 11 a.m. Despite this message, Canadian troops continued to push forward to reach a line eight kilometres northeast of Mons in Europe. This is a testament to the dedication to those who wore the uniform, they didn’t ask why, they didn’t hesitate, they just fought until the war was at peace.”
Russell township Mayor Pierre Leroux, was in attendance to both ceremonies, giving his thanks to the troops in attendance at the event.
“We are united in our remembrance of those who volunteered to defend us, those brave men and women who decided that what made this nation so great was worth fighting for,” he said. “They made the ultimate sacrifice so that every single one of us can live in the country that allows us to be different, to have different views and opinions, to have the ability to disagree with one another without fear of repercussions.”
Local Embrun volunteer and president of Friends for Life, Marie Claire Ivanski, laid a wreath in dedication for all the volunteer work in the area and the work her organization has done for breast cancer research.
“We had a great turnout. I think Russell’s ceremony was a little bit bigger because they have the legion but we still have a very caring community. It was a very beautiful ceremony,” she said. “It’s been a couple of years that I’ve laid a wreath and it’s something that I hold very near and dear to my heart because it’s something I always attend.”
After each of the ceremonies, light refreshments were made available to the public involving light snacks, sandwiches and soup.