Remembering Two World Wars, Their Aftermath, And The Celebration Of Freedom

By on January 1, 2023
Photography: 
Pauline Noel

St. John the Evangelist, Topsail

November 11th, 2022, marked the 104th anniversary of the cessation of the First World War, and a victorious milestone. The occasion is celebrated with special ceremonies including a two minutes’ silence at local cenotaphs. It is also a reminder of those who risked their lives in other conflicts, especially in the Second World War. People all over Canada, the Commonwealth, and indeed, most of the world, participated in a similar ritual.

It’s been 77 years since the Second World War ended. Most of us alive today have no idea of the trauma experienced by parents and loved ones who said goodbye to their sons and daughters. Many of those brave young men were struck down in the prime of life. Some were merely teenagers in a senseless conflict engineered by aggression.

Each year, those who returned are becoming fewer and fewer. But the aptitude of those remaining to reach out in the name of freedom, as was exemplified by the 101-year-old veteran selling poppies, is a testimony of their resilience. It is also a reminder of the importance of the continuance of the November 11th celebration—an occasion for the younger generation to learn their history, and appreciate their freedom.

Here at St. John the Evangelist, Topsail, we have had the distinct privilege each year to have members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 50, take part in the Sunday worship to honour those who have given their lives in service—not only in WWI and WWII, but in conflicts over the years since.

This year, our Remembrance Sunday fell on November 6th, which was just two months after the passing of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, reminding us of her position as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

Our Legion members once again demonstrated with full protocol the Blessing of the Colours. They also graced us with their presence after the service for a time of fellowship and contemplation, while our ACW ladies served lunch and a cup of tea.

“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.”

Hebrews 13:7

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