Brockville Rifles stand in solidarity with Royal Brock residents for Remembrance Day ceremony
BROCKVILLE, ONT. -- While the city of Brockville held a small Remembrance Day ceremony downtown on Thursday, another ceremony also took place at Royal Brock Retirement Living in the city's centre.
"it's really important to us to remember our veterans and any other military members who are still in service, so we put together a ceremony today just to say thank you," said Jessica Bennett, activities director at Royal Brock Retirement.
Approximately 35 reserve soldiers from the Brockville Rifles attended the ceremony, a chance to connect with veterans and other military members safely from outside.
"It's a chance for us to make sure that they understand that we haven't forgotten and there is a connection between what they did, what's happening today and where we are going in the future," said Major Stephen Giberson.
Standing in solidarity, through a bitter cold wind, Maj. Giberson said there is no comparison for what those brave men and women had to go through in years past.
"I tell you not a Rifle even thinks of it," Maj. Giberson said. "We would not be anywhere else today other than be somewhere where we can make an act of remembrance."
The ceremony lasted just over 30 minutes and residents were able to see the soldiers outside.
"It's very important for them," said Bennett. "Something from my generation, I feel like we don't always stop to take the time out of our day to say thank you, and they lived through it, so it's important that they see that we remember those things about them."
"Even when they are gone they are not going to be forgotten," she added.
The Royal Brock and neighbouring Royal Suites have held their own Remembrance Day ceremony since 2017.
After this year's ceremony, soldiers got the chance to talk with some of the 12 veterans who live there from a distance under the front awning.
Like Max Farrelly, who was in the supplementary reserves for 17 years and trained for the Korean War, but never got called to active duty.
"It's nice to be recognized," Farrelly said. "I like to remember my own family and my father being in the Battle of Somme and all that kind of stuff. My brother was in the RCF in the Second World War."
Serving the country, a family affair, remembering his father's time in the First World War.
"He didn't have to get down in the trenches so as much as the guys did, but he was out there in the middle of the night laying heavy wire," Farrelly said. "I don't need remembering myself so much because I never actually got into the battle, but some people like my father in the Battle of Somme, he got shot at."
Maj. Giberson and his unit is glad they could connect with residents, adding the Rifles wouldn't be anywhere else on Nov. 11.
"Thank you for the opportunity, and Lest We Forget," he said.