June 12, 2024

By Jazlyn Slack

“The truth is, I owe you. I owe you for being able to walk around, for friends, for freedom.” These words were written in a letter to veterans by a Grade 7 student.
The silence was overpowering.
Hundreds bowed their heads at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as the snow fell on the chilly Friday morning.
On the day dedicated to soldiers, past and present, the cenotaph at Queen’s Square in Cambridge was filled with memories and sorrow as people remembered those who sacrificed themselves for our freedom and fought for our country.
Among the hundreds of people who endured the cold were students.
“It’s important for students to attend these ceremonies because of the vets,” said Fred Sutton, secretary of the Royal Canadian Legion, Galt branch 121. “The letter written by that seventh grader hit right on the head. If it weren’t for the veterans, we wouldn’t have freedom. It’s all because of them.”
Sutton expressed himself strongly, determined to make it known that it’s important for students to know and understand how our world has gotten to where it is today.
An eagle symbolizes many things, protection, guardianship, freedom, power and inspiration to name a few.
This year an eagle staff was dedicated to the memory of Canadian Afghan veterans and their families. Each eagle quill on the staff was dedicated by a living veteran to a deceased soldier. The staff has 156 quills, representing the 156 soldiers who had died as of the day the staff was made.
The staff is a “moving memorial to Canada’s contribution to the Afghan war,” said Jim Wellheiser, president of the Canadian Airborne Forces Association. “Sometimes words just haven’t been invented to describe something like this.”

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