Remembrance Day Thank You From Jim Earle and Leslee Newman
The haunting notes of the trumpet playing The Last Post and Reveille brought tears to many eyes at the Remembrance Day service in Montgomery Park. That so poignant a day has come to define our community honours the first veterans and their families who settled here after 1946. It is a day to remember those who did not return, sacrificing their lives for a world of freedom and peace. It is a day to honour those who returned and built Montgomery Place. It is a day to celebrate the future of our special community. The spirit of Montgomery Place is never as evident as it is each November 11 as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the snow and cold and mourn the fallen. We remember.
Thank you to everyone who endured the biting cold this year. Special thanks to the veterans and those of that generation who attended, with thanks to their family and friends who supported them. Thanks to ex-pats, some of whom came from other provinces to attend. Meeting neighbours walking on the same pilgrimage to the cairn fosters relationship. Chatting with those standing nearby forges new friendships. Thanks to the Montgomery Place Community Association for ongoing support and the purchase of two new wreaths this year. Thank you to Carly Kunz, Grade 4 student at Montgomery School, her music teacher Ms Balon and her family who supported Carly’s decision to lead the crowd in O Canada and God Save the Queen. Carly represents a new generation; wars were fought for her generation’s future. Thank you to another young woman, Lesley Tyler, who grew up in Montgomery Place, and is now a nurse and a Montgomery Mom; she struggled to keep her trumpet warm. As the notes drift across the park, hearts are overwhelmed. Thank you to Jim McAllister, MPCA Vice-President, who read the Act of Remembrance. Jim McAllister and Jim Earle also kept an eye on the snow around the cairn all week, keeping the ground as clear as possible. Thanks to ex-pat Bob Ferguson who shared his photographs with us.
Eight wreaths were laid, beginning with one for Saskatchewan Veterans by MLA for Saskatoon Riversdale, Danielle Chartier. Melanie Lynchuk and her daughter Lulu, third and fourth generation Montgomery Place residents whose grandfather Allan Earle and maternal grandparents Hedley and Thelma McDonald were veterans of the Second World War, laid the wreath for Montgomery Place veterans. Don Leier, veteran of the Korean War and founder of this service, laid a wreath with his son on behalf of Korean War vets. A group of young people from the Scouting movement laid a wreath for all the children devastated by war. A wreath for Peacekeeper was laid by faithful participant John Bradley. Lee Jones of the Saskatoon Police Service laid a wreath for Protective Services, his 16th straight appearance at the ceremony. John Crawford and his daughter Joy laid a wreath on behalf of Project Ploughshares, a group working for peace, justice and freedom in the world. Members of the 38 Signal Regiment, 4 Squadron laid the final wreath on behalf of Canadian veterans. Thank you all.
Thank you to Anne Matthewson from St. David’s Trinity United Church who delivered the Benediction. Afterwards, the church welcomed the community to warm up over coffee, hot chocolate and homemade cookies. Thank you for your hospitality and the extra work you take on because of us. A big thank you goes to Barb McAllister and her Cookie Crew who bake and prepare the best community gathering anyone could wish for. The slide show of Montgomery Place veterans grew to over 200 slides this year, thanks in large part to Gwen Will. If your Montgomery parent was a vet and you didn’t see his or her photo, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you to those of you who searched and found photos to send.
It’s fitting that the MPCA has adopted the poppy as the symbol of our neighbourhood. The true spirit of Montgomery Place infused the cold day with warmth on November 11. Thank you everyone.