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Remembrance Day events attract large numbers

As Legion members and supporters gathered in solemn reflection on Remembrance Day, the Grand Falls-Windsor Branch honoured their Legionnaire of the Year, Pat Beson, for her service to the branch. “I’m sure my mom and dad would be proud,” said Beson, also a life member of the Legion Auxiliary as she accepted her award.
As Legion members and supporters gathered in solemn reflection on Remembrance Day, the Grand Falls-Windsor Branch honoured their Legionnaire of the Year, Pat Beson, for her service to the branch. “I’m sure my mom and dad would be proud,” said Beson, also a life member of the Legion Auxiliary as she accepted her award.

The renewed interest in Remembrance Day activities was evident in Grand Falls-Windsor this year.

“This has been one of the biggest crowds we’ve had for years both in the parade today and for this dinner,” said Comrade Dan Devine as he emceed the 98th annual Veteran’s Dinner at Branch 12 Friday night. Some 170 people attended the dinner.

“It’s nice to see such a nice crowd out,” added Mayor Barry Manuel when he addressed the crowd attending the dinner.

The mayor added that the refurbished Memorial Grounds “is looking good and functioning well and is a great source of pride.”

“It’s tough for us to understand the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom and comfort of life,” he added. “We should be forever in debt.”

Branch president Si Thompson noted that the day’s commemorative events were held to mark the 98th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the war to end all wars.

“Sadly, we can see we are still fighting, and what are we fighting for? Freedom – the same as we did 100 years ago.”

Thompson also reminded those gathered of this year’s significance in marking the 100th anniversary of the most famous battle fought during the First World War.

“It has been said that there wasn’t a household in Newfoundland and Labrador that wasn’t affected by the Battle of the Somme, or in this case, the Battle of Beuamont Hamel,” he noted.

The efforts of this province’s soldiers in that battle lead to the prefix “Royal” being bestowed upon the Newfoundland Regiment – one of only two regiments to be cited in that manner.

“That was quite an honour,” Thompson said.

Legion member Terry Hillier presented an emotional musical monologue he had prepared in honour of his father, Able Seaman Silas Hillier, who survived the sinking of his naval vessel in Europe after enlisting at 18.

Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans MHA Al Hawkins noted in his remarks that “the sacrifice of our veterans have given should never forget,” adding that in the House of Assembly during this session the 40 MHA’s will begin each day by reading names of a person who has served.

The province also recently dedicated a 50-kilometre section of roadway as the Highway of Heroes to mark the memory of those who have been killed in service in Afghanistan.

To close the event, Thompson announced the winner of this year Legionnaire of the Year Award, Pat Beson.

“This has been one of the biggest crowds we’ve had for years both in the parade today and for this dinner,” said Comrade Dan Devine as he emceed the 98th annual Veteran’s Dinner at Branch 12 Friday night. Some 170 people attended the dinner.

“It’s nice to see such a nice crowd out,” added Mayor Barry Manuel when he addressed the crowd attending the dinner.

The mayor added that the refurbished Memorial Grounds “is looking good and functioning well and is a great source of pride.”

“It’s tough for us to understand the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedom and comfort of life,” he added. “We should be forever in debt.”

Branch president Si Thompson noted that the day’s commemorative events were held to mark the 98th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end the war to end all wars.

“Sadly, we can see we are still fighting, and what are we fighting for? Freedom – the same as we did 100 years ago.”

Thompson also reminded those gathered of this year’s significance in marking the 100th anniversary of the most famous battle fought during the First World War.

“It has been said that there wasn’t a household in Newfoundland and Labrador that wasn’t affected by the Battle of the Somme, or in this case, the Battle of Beuamont Hamel,” he noted.

The efforts of this province’s soldiers in that battle lead to the prefix “Royal” being bestowed upon the Newfoundland Regiment – one of only two regiments to be cited in that manner.

“That was quite an honour,” Thompson said.

Legion member Terry Hillier presented an emotional musical monologue he had prepared in honour of his father, Able Seaman Silas Hillier, who survived the sinking of his naval vessel in Europe after enlisting at 18.

Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans MHA Al Hawkins noted in his remarks that “the sacrifice of our veterans have given should never forget,” adding that in the House of Assembly during this session the 40 MHA’s will begin each day by reading names of a person who has served.

The province also recently dedicated a 50-kilometre section of roadway as the Highway of Heroes to mark the memory of those who have been killed in service in Afghanistan.

To close the event, Thompson announced the winner of this year Legionnaire of the Year Award, Pat Beson.

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