Remembering the fallen in Shannon

Photo: Shirley Kiley

The community of Shannon paid its respects to the fallen during its eighth annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the Celtic cross on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Chapel last Sunday. About 150 people came to pay their respects.

Nearly 20 veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Canada’s peace keeping missions as well as those recently returned from Afghanistan were in attendance. About 40 members of Valcartier Base’s 5th Mechanized Brigade unit marched at the ceremony as well.

“It’s a day we should remember, honour and respect,” said Pauline McCarthy, president of the Shannon Historical society. She organizes the event every year. “These people put their lives on the line for us – what greater sacrifice is there than that?”

A Sunday mass presided by Father George Marceau opened the event in the morning. A ceremony was held outside the chapel at the Celtic Cross where 11 wreathes were laid this year.

A multi-generational gathering was then later held at the community centre. “It’s a get-together. If veterans want to come to tell their story, they can. A lot of veterans don’t like to talk about the war, but when they see what’s going on, they feel more comfortable about it,” McCarthy explained.

Organizers have also been gathering an increasing collection of memorabilia from past wars including postcards, letters, pictures, and artifacts. This year the Feeney family donated Frank Feeney Sr.’s army jacket and helmet as well as a picture of his unit in 1943-44.

McCarthy, along with members of the community, began organizing the event in 2001 since many of its older veterans found it difficult to attend the outdoor ceremony at the Croix du Sacrifice in Quebec City.

“It’s quickly becoming tradition,” McCarthy assured.