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Community unites for Remembrance Day

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Monika Hewey, whose policeman son was on parade the Remembrance Day ceremony and the group of youngsters she brought along to watch the event.

Veterans joined serving soldiers and other uniformed organisations today to mark Remembrance Day.

Hundreds watched from Front Street and the grounds of Cabinet office as the Royal Bermuda Regiment and its Band and Corps of Drums paraded at the Cenotaph in Hamilton as Acting Governor Ginny Ferson led dignitaries in the traditional laying of poppy wreaths.

And the loudest applause of the day was for the small band of veterans who marched to remember the fallen.

The RBR was joined by detachments from the Bermuda Police Service, the Junior Leaders, the Bermuda Sea Cadet Corps, the Somerset Brigade Band and North Village Band, the Salvation Army Bermuda Divisional Band and the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band

Monika Hewey, who brought a group of children to watch the ceremony, said her son Karim, a police officer, had marched in the parade.

She added: “We come every year and bring the children for the history. We never had anyone fight in a war, but we come out to support.”

Cecilia Tavares of Warwick, who was brought up in the city, said: “I’ve attended every parade since I was a little child.”

She added her three older brothers had all served in the RBR.

Ms Tavares said: “It’s important to pay our respects to all who have served.”

William Adams, 90, a Second World War Royal Navy rating and new president of the Bermuda War Veterans Association, laid a wreath on behalf of association members.

Mr Adams said: “It’s still important that people come out to remember.”

RBR Captain Preston Gill commanded the soldiers on parade – his first time in charge of the Remembrance Day event.

Captain Gill said: “It went very well and the troops did a very good job. The Sea Cadets, Junior Leaders and Police did well too. It was a good job by everybody involved.”

Regiment Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley added: “To see the troops on parade and to lay a wreath with the dignitaries is such an honour. We focus a lot on ceremonials because it’s part of our operational requirement and we have a very high standard of drill and dress.”

Colonel Curley added: “We are definitely seeing the number of veterans dwindle every year and it’s an honour to see them as well. It also gives me a chance to have a chat with them during the lunch and to talk to them is an absolute pleasure.”

Michael Dunkley also laid a wreath. The Premier said: “People will always show respect to what happened in the past.

“Listening to family and friends and the accounts they gave, to be able to celebrate this is something very dear to my heart. It’s about sacrifice – people giving everything, their lives. As Premier of Bermuda, I’m humbled to be part of it.”

Acting Governor Ginny Ferson, who attended the ceremony with her husband Mel, added: “What we were particularly pleased to see was how many young people were there with their parents and grandparents.”

One of Ms Ferson’s grandfathers served as Second World War RAF navigator and the other in the same war as an infantryman in the Middle East.

She said: “When I was standing in front of the Cenotaph, I was thinking about my two grandfathers.”

Carol Everson, welfare case worker and secretary for the Bermuda Legion, praised the RBR’s support for the annual Poppy Appeal.

She added: “The Regiment help was wonderful – they came out on the tag day and filled some great spots - the tag day itself raised almost $6,000.”

A regiment career offers recruits opportunities to travel, acquire skills useful in civilian life, test themselves to their limits and competitive rates of pay, as well as a $500 bounty for new volunteers. For more information, call 238-1045 or visit www.bermudaregiment.bm

RBR Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley and other dignitaries at the Cenotaph on Hamilton’s Front Street.
The RBR Band and Corps of Drums head towards the Cenotaph for the annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Cenotaph.
RBR CO Lieutenant-Colonel David Curley accepts a wreath from a Regiment soldier.