The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36 opened their doors on Friday, September 8, welcoming honoured guests and members of the public to their annual Veteran’s Dinner.
As time goes on, fewer veterans are present to be honoured. However, eight veterans proudly accepted the toasts of those who stood to honour the service men and women in the area.
After a wholesome dinner provided by Dianna and Bobby Smylie, event organizer Oscar Neilsen played the Navy, Army and Air Force anthems, to which everyone who served in, or related to someone who served in, stood when their anthem was played. By the end of the songs, everyone present at the dinner was standing, and toasted together.
At this time, everyone stood again for a toast to the widows, and this was followed by a toast to the first responders.
“This is a very special night for the Legion, as it is our opportunity to honour those who serve,” said Legion President, Jennifer Cronin.
Cronin spoke of her 95-year-old father, also a veteran.
“I can tell you that the one thing he really remembers is the time he served. That, above all else, resonates with him. That is the most important thing to him, and that’s the thing he will always remember no matter how old he gets and no matter how long he lives.”
Cronin recalled talking to her father on the phone a few days ago, and having him recall being in Italy, on September 9th, many years ago.
Memories of his time serving is still strong and vivid.
Addressing those present, Cronin said, “Down the line, when you might not remember many other things, you’ll still remember this service. And I hope that you remember, how much we appreciate it, and how much you all mean to us.”
Everyone raised their glasses, then shared in an evening of camaraderie and fellowship.