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Paying respect to veterans, past and present

BY ANDREW SMITH
BANNER STAFF

NORTH PERTH – Comrades past and present were honoured across North Perth on Sunday, as Remembrance Day services were held in Listowel and Atwood.

A crowd of hundreds attended the Remembrance Day service at the Listowel cenotaph, where Royal Canadian Legion Br. 259 president Linda Hoffele was sure someone was watching over.

“I’m sure there are a lot of comrades, if you believe in that, that were watching over us,” she said.

Hoffele said she was impressed by the number of young people in attendance and showing their respect. Hoffele said the Legion welcomes anyone to become a member, and keep the organization a strong part of the community.

“Anyone that’s interested in the Legion, we definitely are interested in bringing them into the fold and making comrades of them as well,” Hoffele said. “Hopefully we can get some of the younger ones to join and keeps our Legions going.”

The Listowel service was also attended by several members of the Canadian Forces, some of which made the long trip to the area so that they could be part of remembering with the community. Hoffele said it’s a significant gesture.

“It’s very impressive to have ones from far away make a point of coming to our ceremonies,” Hoffele said. “I think each and every year it seems to grow.”

One of those soldiers was Corp. Samuel Ellen, who traveled from Petawawa but spent time growing up in Listowel. Ellen said it felt good to see the support among the community on Sunday.

“For me, it’s really uplifting to see these people turn out to see us,” he said.

The day was especially moving for the remaining veterans, including Second World War veteran Roy Bean.

“It’s hard to describe just how you feel on a day like today,” Bean said. “It’s just a day of memories.”

Bean served from the later part of 1941 to 1945, taking part in operations that spanned across Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. Of the 1,200 soldiers that were part of Bean’s regiment, nearly 400 are buried in Italy, where Bean has returned to visit twice. For Bean, Nov. 11 remains an emotional day, not only for remembering fallen friends, but for the respect shown by the community.

“It’s awesome to see that these people still respect what we did, and show it by coming out to the cenotaph,” he said. “It gets you right here sometimes.”

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