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The cold and wet can’t keep Newfoundlanders from Memorial Day

Despite the weather, Ganderites turned out in droves to pay their respects at the Heritage Memorial Park.
Despite the weather, Ganderites turned out in droves to pay their respects at the Heritage Memorial Park.

GANDER- Exactly 101 years ago today, the men of the Newfoundland Regiment went over the top at Beaumont-Hamel, hundreds of them cut down in mere minutes.  

Health Minister John Haggie and his wife lay a wreath at the cenotaph.

Despite the dismal weather, Ganderites turned out in droves to pay their respects to those who lost their lives out in No Man’s Land so long ago.

Claude Elliott, the mayor of Gander, has been to a few of these events during his time in office and reiterated the significance of paying respect to the past.

 

“I think it’s very important. If you look at the sacrifice our forefathers made so we could have the pleasure and privilege of being here today, it’s our way of saying thank you,” said Elliott.

 

Although July 1st has a dual meaning for Newfoundlanders as a result of Canada Day, Elliott said he thinks that the province will continue to honour those who fell.

 

Elliott highlighted the importance of educating young people so that the tradition continues.

“I think you will see this continue for years to come because it’s something each generation will always remember,” he said.

The mayor said that he was pleased that people made an appearance despite the weather and looming festivities.

 

“The weather isn’t ideal but (the soldiers) weren’t in ideal conditions either,” said Elliott. “They paid the price so we could be here today.”

 

The ceremony itself was hosted by Gander’s Royal Canadian Legion and was held at the Heritage Memorial Park in town.

Delegates from various departments placed wreaths at the base of the cenotaph to show Newfoundlanders, and the town of Gander, still remember.

Carl Waterman, the president of Gander’s Royal Canadian Legion, said all the young faces encouraged him.

Members of the Royal Canadian Legion hosted the Memorial Day service in Gander. From left to right: Lew Pearce, Rick Richards and Jonathan Patey.

 

He particularly pointed out Jonathan Patey, the Sargeant-at-arms, who partook in the ceremony.

 

“It’s good to see somebody like that come out and pay respect,” said Waterman. “The best part is to see young people come out and get involved and remember.”

 

Twitter: @joshrjhealey

 

josh.healey@tc.tc

 
Taken before the beginning of the ceremony, dozens of wreaths were presented from various departments to pay tribute.

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