A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Remembrance Day in Knowlton
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Remembrance day in Lac Brome. At 11 o'clock we all stopped to remember the brave soldiers at the Knowlton Remembrance Day Ceremony in Lac Brome...

The flags were saluted as we gathered at the memorial to remember our soldiers.The Knowlton band played, prayers were read as heads were bowed, and tears welled in our eyes as the lone trumpet's piercing notes helped pay tribute to the brave men and women of Brome County who have given so much in the service of their country.

It was a lovely ceremony and we were fortunate that the weather co-operated as a huge crowd converged on the greens of Knowlton Academy around 10 am. Poppies were pinned to every lapel and the atmosphere was austere.

The Mayor of Knowlton was on hand as were many local family members and representatives from various organizations came forward to lay wreaths of respect. Everyone sang hymns and prayed together and it seemed that these turbulent times made such a ceremony even more vital. Seeing the casualties in current struggles around the world makes more of realize the sacrifices that were made by other generations.

Our finest gathered to share and to remember the trials and tribulations of the past.Police closed off Victoria Street near Knowlton Academy as hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects and lay wreaths for those who can never be forgotten. Every year at Remembrance Day Ceremonies in Canada there are fewer and fewer Veterans of the great wars of the world but the crowds who gather seem to be getting larger all the time.

Living in Quebec, it was surprising to see such a crowd gather in Lac Brome and it surely made everyone there proud in their solidarity in showing their thanks. Most newspapers of major cities across Canada featured reports and historical coverage of Canadians at war yet in Quebec many newspapers almost go out of their way to ignore the remembrance of our heroes! It may not be surprising but it still is disrespectful and so it was especially nice to see the hundreds who came out to bow their heads.

With more Canadians in harms way in Afghanistan it is good to see more young people coming to such memorials. World War 1 and 2 do not register in the consciousness of many young people so the sight of Girl Guides leaving white paper swans at the cenotaph was a poignant reminder of how war continues to affect us.

Those who have been to the war hang their heads in a way many of us can never understand.The Veterans of Brome County proudly displayed their medals and stood at attention as the music lifted into the bare trees and a moment of silence left us all in our thoughts… thoughts for the hope for peace and thanks to all of the men and women of the Canadian Forces who continue to do the dangerous job most of us would be afraid to even contemplate.

Throughout the years many people from the Brome County area have enlisted into the Canadian Armed Forces to fulfill their dreams and meet their destiny. Seeing the stoic faces and close families at the Remembrance Day ceremony made us proud to be a part of such a group. Not all of us are originally from the area but all of us have someone in our family who has known the war in one way or another. This makes us all brothers and sisters in arms and even though many people in the crowd didn't know the person standing next to them...then, as the prayers were read and a chorus of voices whispered "Amen" together it showed that we are all part of a family bigger than we can imagine.

Knowlton Academy was the place for the Lions Club Remembrance Day Brunch.Around noon the crowd slowly dissipated and amongst the handshakes, hugs and back-patting there was the feeling of appreciation for the road we have all traveled up until now and the hope for the chance to see one another again…may God allow.


On Sunday, the day after the memorial, the Legion held a brunch at the Knowlton Academy. The basement was full for the event as people came to sit with a hot breakfast cooked up by the local Scouting movement. The hall where we ate in Knowlton Academy was decorated with large red paper poppies made by the children of the school and many drawings and bright paintings expressing their desire for peace, love and understanding.

The proud faces who have carried us on their strong shouldersBeing surrounded by the arts and crafts of the kids taped to the walls while having Veterans of the wars gather to share a meal and drink a cup of tea among friends was quite moving.

The rain from the night before left pools of water like a shallow moat around the stone monuments where just the day before we had gathered en masse to bear witness to the courage of our brave heroes. As we left the basement after our brunch and walked towards the cenotaph to bow our heads one last time in remembrance we noticed that one of the small paper birds that had been placed during the ceremony by the girl guides had fallen off its fragile home-made cross and was now floating in the rain water...

Lest we forget our modern day herosOur Canadian Forces continue to do battle in combat situations around the world. While we remember the sacrifices of the past we should also be aware of the young men and women who are currently serving our country and helping to protect each and every one of us.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again a great article, Just a slight correction the remembrance Brunch at Knowlton Academy is organized by the Knowlton Lions Club to honor our Veterans. Nearly 400 meals were served this year. Our members set up and decorate the hall, cook and serve the brunch and clean up afterwards.

Thursday, December 07, 2006 9:06:00 AM  

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