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Veterans: 4 Nov 2019
Crowd gathers for Remembrance Day ceremony at Ayr cenotaph
AYR — After each of the 58 names was read out, there was the pounding sound of the drum from the Ayr Paris marching band.
|Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell addressed a few hundred people gathered at the Ayr cenotaph for the rededication and Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday. - Peter Lee , Waterloo Region Record |
Fifty-eight people from Ayr served in either the First World War or Second World War but they never returned home.
Orwell Ennis was born in 1892 and was one of 11 children. At 22, he would go and serve in the First World War, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Ontario's lieutenant governor, told a few hundred people gathered at the Ayr cenotaph for the rededication and Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday.
From Europe, he would write letters to his sister Lillian to reassure her and their parents he was fine.
But he would never make it home. Orwell is buried in France.
Dowdeswell told the crowd to uphold the values of Orwell's generation.
"Let us learn and share Orwell's story" to remember his sacrifice, she said.
Sunday marked the rededication of the Ayr cenotaph, which was first erected in 1922, after a recent road improvement project at Stanley Street and Northumberland Street intersection where the monument stands.
"They lived here, played hockey here, played ball in the park and went to school and church here," North Dumfries Township Mayor Sue Foxton told the crowd.
"They also went to war together," she said.
Rev. Joel Steiner of Christ Church in Ayr said Remembrance Day ceremonies reminds us of "the costs they bore and the absences they left behind around our dinner tables."
In addition to the laying of the wreaths, "The Last Post" was played and a minute of silence was heard. Chris Laurin of Elmira read the poem "In Flanders Fields."
His grandfather, Arthur Freer and great grandfather Edward Freer, both from Ayr, served in overseas wars. Both men returned home to Ayr after the war.
"My grandfather always told me he wasn't a hero but just lucky enough to come home. I think they were all heroes," Laurin said.
Arthur Freer marched in almost every Remembrance Day parade in Ayr. His last parade was in 2012 just before he turned 90.
"My kids are the fifth generation marching in the parade," he said.
Also on Sunday, residents gathered at Mount Hope Cemetery in Kitchener for the annual Sikh Remembrance commemorating the military grave of a Sikh soldier in Canada.
Pte. Buckam Singh was wounded in the battlefields of France and Belgium but died of tuberculosis in a Kitchener hospital.
Liz Monteiro Waterloo Region Record/AA
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