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Elmira Legion marks Remembrance Day with parade Sunday

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is the formal focus of Remembrance Day. For Elmira and Linwood, there’s an extra reminder in the form of the Elmira Legion’s activities on the Sunday prior to Nov. 11.

The local Legion chose the earlier commemoration for a variety of reason, including giving other Legions in the area a chance to participate in the Elmira or Linwood parades.

“The Legions in Kitchener, Waterloo, Elora and Drayton all hold their parades on Nov. 11 so we decided to hold ours on the Sunday before as it give them an opportunity to attend our parade and we can then send someone to theirs,” said Sandy Pember, president of the Elmira Legion.

Having the parade on the weekend also allows the Elmira Legion to hire a band, which can be quite tricky on the actual day.

“We also get some real good support from the Scouting and Guiding organizations as they are
available to come and participate in the parade on the weekend.”

Pember said the Legion has had a great amount of community support holding the parade on the Sunday as it allows those who work during the week a chance to come and pay their respect where they may not have the chance to do so because of work.

“It has become a known fact that we hold it on the Sunday before and people are more available then they would be during the week,” she said. “We get quite a good turnout year after year from the community who come out to observe.”

Weather always plays a factor in the turnout, with less support showing up in the rain than sun. This weekend looks to be sunny with periods of cloud and temperatures reaching 11 degrees in the afternoon, according to Environment Canada.

As the years pass the number of veterans who participate actively in the parade has reduced but that has not stopped the Legion from performing a full Remembrance Day parade.

“There are certainly not as many veterans available nowadays. but we always organize a bus to pick up those who can make it,” said Pember. “We do have a few people who are veterans from Afghanistan and they may be out this year with us.”

The format of the parade has stayed constant over the years and recently the Elmira Legion has gone out to Linwood to perform an earlier parade before returning for the Elmira event.

“It gives that community an opportunity to have their veterans recognized and we are glad to do it for them.”

The Linwood Remembrance Day parade starts at 1 p.m. at the Linwood Community Centre.

The Elmira parade starts at 3 p.m. at the Legion located on First Street, following a route to the cenotaph across from Gore Park.

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