Every person who attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies in St. John’s Friday did so for their own reasons.
For most, it was likely for the most obvious reason, to remember all those Canadian soldiers who have died in this nation’s various conflicts.
But for others, the day has an even deeper, more personal, meaning.
The Telegram spoke with a number of people at the St. John’s Remembrance Day ceremony. The following is a snapshot of what Nov 11 means for them.
The ex pat vet
Cyril Gorner was born and raised near Manchester, England.
With the outbreak of the Second World War, Gorner joined the Royal Navy before being transferred to a joint operations unit serving first in Burma and eventually ending up in Singapore.
He moved to Newfoundland in 1953, settled in St. John’s and raised a family.
He braved the cold wind Friday to join his comrades with the Royal Canadian Legion.
For him the title of Remembrance Day holds true.
“I think of a lot of the friends I left over there. It was a bad spot to be in,” Gorner said.
“It’s too bad they can’t be here now. I can still remember them now, their faces and their names. But of course they’re long gone,” he added.
“That’s what it means for me anyway, time again to think of me old buddies and just be glad I lasted this long anyway. It’s a good day.”
Anita Pender of St. John’s has three reasons to mark Remembrance Day.
She lays a wreath for her husband, who was a Korean War vet, and for her daughter and son-in-law, both military, killed in a car accident in 1996.
She also has a second daughter who is currently serving in the Armed Forces.
Every year she looks forward to laying her wreath. It’s an emotional moment, she said, but one she enjoys.
“It’s a great pleasure I must say,” Pender said.
“It gives you a great feeling, that you’re still remembering them.”
Every Nov 11, Pender and her family go first to the Sepulchre and then to the Field of Honour to visit the graves of their loved ones.
Gerald and Benita Winsor come to St. John’s for every Remembrance Day and have done so for many years. They are part of a motorcycle club, Veterans Canada, made up of Canadian Forces members. Both of them were decked out with their patches, buttons and pins Friday.
They return here every year because even though they live in Nova Scotia they have roots here and feel the need to return.
Gerald served in the forces from 1980 to 2001 and served in the Persian Gulf.