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Pender Island Remembers

By Howard Sanders • November 13th, 2010

No matter where I am in the world, I have always observed a moment of silence at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month.

I wear my poppy with pride. Not because I believe in conflict, but because I owe everything to those who gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars. My grandfather fought in the trenches of the Somme on July 1, 1916, and was ‘wounded by a ‘whizzbang’ (an aerial shell packed with shrapnel), getting a ‘blighty’ (an injury sufficiently severe to be sent home). He was lucky. In the battle of the Somme alone, the British suffered 60,000 casualties on the first day and the 1st Newfoundland Regiment lost 88% of its men and 100% of its officers. It was unimaginable.

Pender Island Remembrance Day 2010

One of the things I’ve loved about Pender Island from the first year we arrived here was that the Island remembers. The turnout each year at the Legion for the Remembrance Day ceremony is impressive. Rain or shine they come to pay their respects and remember the fallen. The pipe band plays, wreaths are laid and afterwards there is a community lunch. It’s a day that matters, and Pender residents understand that. One of my favourite parts is the laying of the wreath by the “Youth of Pender”. Each year two young Penderites are chosen, and I look at the eyes of the older veterans and wonder at what passes through their minds.

I know what passes through mine. Gratitude.

Pender Island Remembrance Day 2010 Pender Highlanders Pipe Band

 

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