t was cold and rainy, even reports of snow in Bowser. Still, they they were, hundreds upon hundreds of veterans and Legion members and citizens of all ages marching, standing, singing, saluting and generally showing their respect for those who had fallen in the defence of freedom.

We are fortunate in this district to have so many people with connections to past conflicts, those with  vivid memories of both horrors and triumphs.

They will not be among us forever. There were signs on Sunday, however, that they are leaving a lasting legacy of this ceremony, that they have engaged the youth in a way that will ensure the continuation of this important event for years to come.

The youngest of all march in the parades, members of local Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides and other clubs. As they marched past the reviewing stand on Sunday in Parksville on Craig Street, some of the youngest were looking at this well-dressed military man saluting them from the makeshift stage with wonder and curiousity.

OK, who is this soldier guy and why is he saluting me? That was what the look on the tiny faces was saying.

Well, he is saying thank you, little one, thank you for being here and thank you for continuing this ceremony when the rest of us have all shuffled off this mortal coil.

They might not quite get it now, and that’s OK. The seed has been planted.

Imagine the year 2042. There will be no veterans of the first two World Wars, Korea, Viet Nam – and very few relatives of those who did fight in those conflicts. Yes, there will be other conflicts to remember – those which have happened in the past 20 or 30 years and (hopefully not) those which happen in the next 30 years.

The people who will help everyone remember the trenches of 1917 and Dieppe will be the ones who marched Sunday not knowing exactly what this was all about.

Thank-you, everyone of all ages, for your efforts on Sunday. You all make us a richer, more respectful community.

­—  Editorial by John Harding


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