Re-dedication of the Williamsburg Cenotaph

Standing vigil at the Williamsburg Cenotaph during the re-dedication ceremony held on Sunday, October 29, are Cadets (l-r) Flight Sergeant Ethan Hamilton, and LAC Benjamin Bisson. Many people gathered for the service which saw the newly refurbished memorial safely installed in its new location at the J.C. Whitteker Park in Williamsburg.  (The Leader/Gibb photo)

WILLIAMSBURG – “At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

David Lapier, a member of the committee which worked to have the Williamsburg Cenotaph repaired and restored, spoke the Acts of Remembrance as federal, provincial and municipal representatives, the Piper, veterans, cadets, Scouts, family members and friends gathered at the site of the fully restored cenotaph to honour those who served their country. The memorial lies in the park just opposite the Williamsburg Branch of the SDG library .

MP Eric Duncan, who spearheaded the committee dedicated to the restoration of the memorial, introduced Mayor Jason Broad, MPP Nolan Quinn, Legion president branch 48, Donna Dillabough, historian Sue Peters and Rev. Janet Evans who addressed the crowd during the formal ceremony. Also in attendance was District Zone VP Don Swerdfeger. Duncan pointed out that the entire community recognized the “courage and the sacrifices made by the brave men and women who served our country in the Wars. We are very grateful to the committee who worked on this beautiful restoration.”

As Sue Peters pointed out in her presentation, many of the names of those who served in World Wars I and II are still common in Williamsburg today. She particularly recalled three young men the community lost: Squadron Leader Frank Carter, killed in action December, 1944; Private John Garlough, killed in action, September 1944: Pilot Officer Lyle Schell, killed in action, January 1942.

Hearing those names, the oldest of them barely 25, reminded everyone gathered at the service of the true price paid to ensure that Canada remains a strong, free nation.

The Last Post, the Piper’s Lament, the minutes of silence and Reveille, brought the ceremony to a close. As individuals laid wreaths, or placed poppies at the foot of the cenotaph, Rev. Evans’ final words echoed: “We pledge once again that we will remember them. We will cherish their memories.”

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