By Grant McDaniel
PORT HAWKESBURY: Gary Burns, president of the Port Hawkesbury Legion Branch 43, says he and his fellow Legion members are going to be busy in the lead-up to Remembrance Day.
“We’re doing the schools this year on the sixth of November, and we have our veteran’s supper on the ninth, and on November 11, of course, we do full services,” he told The Reporter last Thursday.
Burns said the experience of talking to kids about Canada’s military history seems to be eye-opening for the youngsters. He said it’s rewarding to interact with youth, in the days leading to November 11.
“They’re very quiet and attentive, and the teachers do a very good job of keeping them under control. They act very well.”
The veterans’ dinner will be a fine event for veterans and their spouses, and a time for spouses of fallen Legion members to join with an extended family. Branch 43 has 182 members
“Most of them are younger people now,” Burns said. “We’re running out of wartime vets.”
The Branch 43 crew will be busy come Remembrance Day, as the Port Hawkesbury Legion handles four ceremonies: Port Hawkesbury at 11 a.m.; Point Tupper at noon; and West Bay Road and Judique at 2 p.m.
“We also help with the service in Havre Boucher,” Burns said.
Considering how busy Legion members are in the lead-up to Remembrance Day, Cape Breton Richmond MLA Alana Paon is seeking to set up an 10-day observance before the November holiday.
Paon floated the idea in the Nova Scotia Legislature for a provincial law to formally set the first 11 days of November as a “time of remembrance” honouring service members and veterans.
The measure, Bill 149, also formally supports those who educate the public about the sacrifices of armed-service members and first responders on behalf of Canadian values.
“I think the sacrifices of our service men and women deserve more than a single day,” Paon said in a press release.
The Time of Remembrance Act would supplement Remembrance Day but have no impact on business and government services during the additional 10-day observance.
Paon introduced the legislation in April.
She said the bill would enhance the importance of Remembrance Day by formally recognizing the work performed by Legion and Ladies Auxiliary members, veterans, service men and women, first responders, and their communities in visiting schools to educate young people on the values of continued education about the contributions of Canadian service personnel.