Brantford hosts Remembrance Day service

Bachir Miloudi / Sputnik Photography
The Brantford Cenotaph in Brant County War Memorial Park.

The City of Brantford will hold an overnight lighting display and a Royal Canadian Sea Cadets vigil for Remembrance Day to honour veterans.  

The lighting display and the cadet vigil will take place at the Brantford Cenotaph in Brant County War Memorial Park, found at the corner of Dalhousie Street and Brant Avenue. The overnight lighting starts from Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. until Nov. 11 at 7 a.m. The Royal Canadian Sea Cadets will stand on the Cenotaph and hold the vigil, which begins Nov. 10 from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. and continues Nov. 11 from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  

“It’s just the least we can do to show our appreciation for people who have done so much for us,” said Dennis Jackson, who’s been a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in Brantford since 2013. “Many of them paid the ultimate price to ensure we can live relatively peaceful now.” 

Community members can drive by within these times to view the lights and attend the vigil ceremony. Free city transit and lift service will be available on Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for those travelling to and from War Memorial Park. Seating at the Cenotaph will only be available to veterans and their spouses or companions.  

“I find that not a lot of people understand what we do and what sacrifices we have to make to actually do this job,” said Brice Nutley-Butler, who’s been a member of the Canadian Army for eight years now and is currently based in Petawawa. He said Remembrance Day ceremonies help educate people.  

“Just showing up means a lot to us and we know for sure that people are out there that actually support us,” said Nutley-Butler. 

In Ontario, Remembrance Week is from Nov. 5 to 11 and Indigenous Veterans Day is on Nov. 8, which is a Canadian memorial day to honour Indigenous contributions to the military service. 

Historically, Remembrance Day marks the end of World War I in 1919 and ceremonies are held nationwide to honour members of the armed forces who died while serving. This is also a time to reflect on the impact of war. 

“Remembrance Day to me just means I can kind of remember my friends and the other people who I’ve worked with that have actually passed away,” said Nutley-Butler. “That way, we can always be there to remember them, even though they’re not with us today. They’ll always be with us, you know, tomorrow and furthermore.” 

The Royal Canadian Legion in Brantford has already started the poppy campaign on Oct. 27. Volunteers will hand out poppy pins for donations in local retail and grocery stores until Nov. 11.  

“We’re going to have maybe 10 days of seeing poppies around,” said Jackson, adding that this is a very short amount of time to raise awareness for veterans, the soldiers who died while deployed and current members of the military. “Just be there and recognize what’s going on because, you know, they deserve it.” 

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