Tag Archives: legion

My First Memory Of Remembrance Day — The Legion Kettle

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My First Memory Of Remembrance Day — The Legion Kettle

by Linda Knight Seccaspina

For Marjorie Gaw

Someone asked me why I post so much about Remembrance Day. Yes, I do post for days, and believe you me; it’s full of love. I was raised by former military men from the past wars that taught me that yes, there was crying, lots of crying, on Remembrance Day, but absolutely no shirking. NO siree! You had better be ready at dawn to march in the Cowansville, Quebec parade where your grandfather was one of the dignitaries, and your father marched in the parade with the other World War 2 vets.

I was raised on pomp and circumstance- pointe finale, as they say in French.

Every Saturday morning I would awake to rousing military marching tunes by John Philip Sousa being played on the old Hi Fi in the family living room. John Philip Sousa was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era, known primarily for American military and patriotic marches.  I have no idea how my father Arthur J. Knight found this musical passion, but he got it from somewhere. He loved the military so much that he joined the Canadian Army during WW II, but never made it past the training session in Georgia because the war ended. I often wondered if he wanted to follow my Grandfather Fred Knight’s footsteps as he returned from the  trenches in France after WW1 with medals and and a lifetime encyclopedia full of stories.

I never remember asking my father to turn the death defying volume down as he chose to crouch next to the Hi Fi speaker with his ear glued to whatever was being played. I figured if he kept it up for enough years he was going to lose his hearing– and then there was the fact that he put up with my Beatle music. No teenager would ever want to mess around with their father’s views on their music. “The Washington Post” by Sousa was his absolute favourite, and then that usually followed with the “King Cotton March” with some added piping and drumming from the Grenadier Guards thrown in for good measure. This wasn’t a passing fancy- he would listen to music, and absorb it– but you would never hear about it in his conversations. I don’t think anyone knew except for my sister and a few others.

I can remember two things in my early life,besides the music. One sitting on a bed in the Allan Memorial Centre watching my mother playing cards, who had no idea who I was. The next thing I remember is a great commotion at age 3 in my grandmother’s bedroom on the night of November 11th.- Remembrance Day.

After the days solemn occasions the Branch #99 Legion in Cowansville had a huge party that same night. Children of course were not allowed, and they spent the evening drawing tickets for various prizes among other things. I remember the bedroom being very cold as it always was because it was heated by the woodstove downstairs. My eyes were blurry and they were all crowded around me shouting that I had won a kettle at the Legion. My grandmother of course probably put my name on some tickets and here was this kettle two inches from my face being waved around. Was it to be mine?

I never did see that kettle again, except on my grandmother’s woodstove. I remember they soon turned the lights off and told me to go back to sleep. Go back to sleep? After winning a kettle at the Legion? How does one do that LOL? Anyways, there was to be no sleeping because my father had gone downstairs and turned on my grandfather’s Hi Fi and blasted the Massed Pipes and Drums throughout the house at full volume. I think that is the first time I cried hearing the pipes; more likely because I was scared. Today, and every day I remember all of those who lost their lives for us in past wars and I thank them.

“Remembrance Day is when the country stops for two minutes of silence, to pay respects to those who gave their lives and our veterans who fought for our freedom.”

—Douglas Phillips, Canadian writer

Grandfather Frederick J. Knight British Army World War 1
Great Grandmother Mary came over to Canada with her son Fred when he emigrated to Cowansville, Quebec after the war. His father Alexander Arthur Knight had left them. He ran a music publishing business in London to only die upon his entry into the United States to become a songwriter at the age of 53. His body was sent back and buried in Plymouth, but the cemetery was bombed in World War 2 and everything was destroyed. ( this is the postcard family kept all these years). Every time my grandfather tried to get her to immigrate she showed him this postcard and said this is what happens when you run away to America.
Armée – Militaires – Jour du Souvenir
Jour du Souvenir. De g. à d. : John Turner, Lionel Bélanger, Joseph-Léon Deslières, Roland Désourdy, Rév. Carl Gustafson, Jean-J. Bertrand, Rév. H. J. Isaacs, F. J. Knight (La Voix de l’Est, 13 novembre 1957)
Légion Canadienne
Élections à la Légion Canadienne. De g. à d., 1ère rangée : Grant Paterson, Arthur Barratt, Albert Strange, Yvon Gaudreau, Jacques Maurice. 2e rangée : F. J. Knight, Charles Renaud, Larry Labrecque, Albert Gagnon, Raymond Farrell, Malcolm Cady, Buster Damant (La Voix de l’Est, 18 janvier 1958 from Ville De Cowansville 1958

Cowansville, July 4 – The Canadian Legion, Cowansville branch, will ignaugurate Monday at 8.30 p.m., a drive to erect a fitting Cowansville Veteran’s Memorial Hall building in this city.Members of the Cowansville Branch, No. 99, of the legion are seeking premises containing necessary rooms for meetings and recreation. The site for the building has been given by Miss Nina M. Nesbitt, of Cowansville, and plans for the building have been provisionally approved.On the evening of the inauguration the speakers will be His Worship Mayor E.A. Boisvert, Maj. Gen. C.B. Price, D.S.O., D.C.M., E.D., president of the Canadian Legion, and Capt. Henry Gonthier, past provincial president.Veterans will then parade through the streets of Cowansville and a street dance will follow. The board of trustees is composed of Mayor Eugene Boisvert, L.L. Bruck, H.F. Vilas, A.G. Scott, D.J. Barker. Co-chairmen of the Cowansville Legion Memorial Hall Building Fund are, R.L. Brault and J.H. Wood, M.B.E., E.D. The president of the local legion is F.J. Knight.-The Montreal Gazette, July 6, 1946

Club Lions
Le comité de la vente d’essence à Cowansville ayant eu lieu le 2 juin au garage B.A. Service Station et au garage Mitch Bedard Auto Enrg. au profit des Lions pour l’aménagement du parc municipal. Première rangée : MM. Arthur Knight, M. Kastello, G. Dean, S. Harrington, B. Mc Crum. Deuxième rangée : MM. D. Morrison, Gordon Snyder, responsables; Vincent Léonard et L. Labrecque (La Voix de l’Est, 4 juin 1957)

Branch 99 of the Cowansville Legion that my Dad and grandfather marched in year-Photo from Ville de Cowansville

The Story of Trenches –Fred Knight Legion Branch #99 Cowansville

Our Fathers Never Talked About the War — Clippings of Norman Melville Guthrie

  1. The Names of the Exempt of Lanark County- WW1
  2. The Fighting Lads of Lanark County WW1–Who Do You Know?
  3. “Nanny Shail’s Nephew”– Gerald Whyte World War 2 Veteran
  4. Remembering Private Gordon Willard Stewart WW 2 Veteran
  1. 90 Day Fiance and Mail Order and War Brides
  2. The Home Guard of Carleton Place
  3. The War Children that Tried to Come to Canada–SS City of Benares
  4. The Children of Ross Dhu –Evacuation to Canada
  5. Does Anyone Know What This is?
  6. The Very Sad Tale of Horace Garner “Sparky” Stark of Carleton Place
  7. Did You Ever Notice This in Beckwith Park? Thanks to Gary Box
  8. George Eccles Almonte Hero!

Legion Week 2021- Branch 240 — Almonte– Little Olympics 1968

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Legion Week 2021- Branch 240 — Almonte– Little Olympics 1968

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
27 Apr 1968, Sat  •  Page 16

This being an Olympic year, Almonte is moving in to grab a piece of the action. The Almonte Legion Little Olympics they plan to call it and It’s scheduled for July I, Dominion Day, 1968 at a 50-acr site built to official Olympic specifications. ‘The Almonte Legion has sponsored a July 1 track and field meet at this Ottawa Valley town 30 miles southwest of Ottawa for the past three years; and it has grown in size and quality every year on til in 1967 more than 200 of Ontario’s top athletes took part.

Runners, pole vaulters and hop-step-and-jumpers from all over the Valley and as far away as Toronto took part. Ottawa sent the Uplands Harriers and Olympia club members. In gearing this summer’s event for national recognition by the Amateur Athletes- Little Athletic Union as a top-flight Canadian track and field meet, Almonte is laying its unblemished record of triumphs in its own meet on the line.

“I think it was sheer weight of numbers,” jokes -Almonte High School track coach Don Maynard. That may be part of it, but in fact Almonte High School has dominated the Lanark County track and field scene in recent years. Almonte’s championship hopes this year are pegged on such performers as potential Canadian champ, Doug Sonnenberg. who reputedly can heave the eight – pound shot 56 feet outdoors, and pole, vaulter Ron Robinson, who has cleared close to 11 feet in intermediate “B” company.

Maynard and his troops would like a head-on collision with perennial Renfrew County champions from Arnprior District High School. Amprior athletes have won the Renfrew. County meet almost from the day Champlain lost his astrolobe near Cobden and last year became the first Valley school to win the Eastern Ontario aggregate championship in Ottawa.

Last year Almonte ran a series of twilight meets with athletes from such places as Cornwall and Toronto, and may try to set up the clash with Arnprior at such a dual meet this summer. The Almonte Legion, helped by a host of enthusiastic town citizens, has come up with a first rate layout and additional improvements are planned.

On the betterment list this year improved sanitary facilities to handle the big crowds expected. Ten years ago the high school athletes could expect two meets a year their own school’s and the county’s and that was it,” says Maynard. By comparison, May of this year will see the individual meets, the county meets (Lanark’s is at Almonte May 14), a Cornwall invitation meet May 10. and a Kemptville Legion invitation meet May 20.

The EOSSA meet at Cornwall May 18, and so on, and so on.Track and field. in Eastern Ontario is booming and with its fine quarter-mile cinder track and permanent pits at its big layout beside the Community Centre, Almonte figures to stay in the forefront of the boom.

CLIPPED FROMThe Ottawa JournalOttawa, Ontario, Canada27 Apr 1968, Sat  •  Page 16

Support Your Local Legion!

Every Mile is a Memory -Linda Knight Seccaspina

Almonte Legion
February 13  · 

Legion Week 2021- Branch 192 — Carleton Place– Clippings 1960s

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Legion Week 2021- Branch 192 — Carleton Place– Clippings 1960s
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
13 Jan 1960, Wed  •  Page 25

CLIPPED FROM
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
02 Jun 1961, Fri  •  Page 14
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
24 Jun 1961, Sat  •  Page 35
Dan WilliamsI remember selling 50/50 tickets for fund raising. I think they were a quarter or fifty cents each and a book of 6 was 2.50 or something like that and I got 50 cents a book for what I sold I think. Long time ago!

This is a repost of a photo that Linda Gallipeau-Johnston sent me awhile back. The legion was part of my life and this month is for remembering. I remember standing outside in the cold with Branch #99 and marching in the Remembrance parade with my grandfather and dad.. God bless the legion! – pic of Sandra Foy, Bob Giles, Linda Gallipeau-Johnston and Judy Gollinger() at public speaking and my pretty sure it was grade 7. It took place at the legion Branch # 192
1968
1968

November 10th, 2020 — A Letter from Your Birdie on Remembrance Day

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November 10th, 2020 — A  Letter from Your Birdie on Remembrance Day
Photos of Frederick J. Knight in the British Army in WW1 who immigrated to Cowansville, Quebec and was one of the founding members and president of Branch#99 Canadian Legion in Cowansville,Quebec

Dear Grammy and Grampy,

Tonight I felt I should write you a letter because it’s almost November 11th. It was always a hallowed event in the Knight family each year and we were up with the birds that day as Grammy used to say. Mocha cakes had to be finished for the Legion refreshments, shoes and medals polished, and bodies attempted to get warmed up in advance for the parade.

Things have changed this year for Remembrance Day. There is a pandemic going on called COVID 19 and this year’s memorial ceremony is by invitation only. But, you will be pleased to know I have an invitation as I am a town councillor and I am honoured. I know you worry Grammy if I am well, and I am, and I will bring along a small chair this year as I can’t stand long. Last week I tripped on a rug, in of all places, a senior residence and my knee is blue and swollen. 

Cowansville Remembrance Day- Ville De Cowansville

I know Grampy has reminded you already that I should keep that stiff upper lip going and a Knight family member respects our veterans. I promise I won’t hover my rear end over the chair too long. Grampy’s stories of how hard life was in the cold and the muddy trenches in France have not been forgotten. Not one word Grammy, not one word of what he and others went through during the first World War. It will never leave my mind.

We have a Legion here in Carleton Place (Branch #192) and Mississippi Mills (Branch #240) and the people are wonderful just like Legion Branch #99 in Cowansville, Quebec. Things are not good for the Legions these days because of Covid. The Legions are just scraping by because donations are down and they can’t have their fundraisers or congregate. They now have to worry about how they are going to remain solvent from month to month.

Somehow the branches are managing to pay their bills but Winter is coming and the heating season begins. The Legions are at risk of closing forever, and 1 in 10 could permanently close this year. I know Grampy’s eyes are full of tears, because I know how hard Grampy worked to open branch Number 99 in 1946. Legions should never close, and I just hope that it isn’t too late for some of our branches if help does come from the government soon.

Army – Military – Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day. From g. to d. John Turner, Lionel Belanger, Joseph-Leon Deslièresres, Roland Désourdy, Rev. Carl Gustafson, Jean-J. Bertrand (Quebec premier), Rev. H. J. Isaacs, F. J Knight (The president of the local legion) (Grampy) (The Voice of the East, November 13, 1957) Photo Ville De Cowansville

Each Remembrance Day I can still hear Grampy yelling out orders in the parade: ‘left right, left right’, even though I was the last one in the parade every year. I never understood why the Brownies were placed at the end and I was always pulling up the rear in my too short Brownie outfit, bare legs with knee socks with my Hush Puppies on and no boots. Standing at the cenotaph freezing to death and chattering with friends I always got the stink eye from Grampy who was always watching me. I could never avoid his stern gaze. ‘Respect, Linda, respect, remember what these men did for you’.

The solo bugle playing The Last Post would always make the odd strange noise from the cold outside on the first few notes and the freezing November breeze would circle around my legs turning them bright red. I could see tears in my Grandfather’s eyes, remembering his friends that never made it home. He just hoped they knew that we all still cared and remembered them.

Each Remembrance Day I remember, and I still remember the Remembrance Day pasts. I wish for a lot of things, but now besides remembering all the veterans I pray and hope for the saving of our local Legions. As you said Grampy: ‘I have seen war. I hate war!’

For years you lived in pain from being gassed in the trenches. As you said each time you had a migraine: ‘ I’ll be okay, but in the meantime I just have to hold strong’. We are trying Grampy, we are trying to keep these Legions and the memories going, but in the meantime like you we too just have to hold strong right now and stand firm.

I miss you so much..

Your ‘Birdie’,

Linda

Linda Knight Seccaspina Christmas 1953

This Remembrance Day have one less coffee, one less treat and please DONATE to your local legion. They are counting on you! Thank you!

Please Donate Logo, HD Png Download - vhv

Carleton Place- Branch 192

Donations are respectfully received at the Branch or by mail. Drop in for a visit any time the branch is open or make your donation by mail to Royal Canadian Legion Box 248, 177 George Street Carleton Place, ON K7C 3P4 State whether your donation is to Legion Branch 192 or The Poppy Campaign.

Our hours are restricted at this time because of Covid19 Check our facebook page for our current hours of operation. At this time they are Thurs 4 to 8 pm and Fri 3 to 7pm but subject to change

Almonte Branch 240

Donations to the Almonte Legion Br 240 can be done via e-transfer at: donations@rcl05240.ca or by cheque payable to Almonte Legion, Br 240 and mailed to PO Box 1090, 100 Bridge St., Almonte, ON, K0A 1A0 or by dropping into the Branch during our reduced hours which are: open at 4:00 pm on Thursday and Friday and 3:00 pm on Saturday.

In memory of my Grandfather Frederick J. Knight in the middle with the mason apron on.

Special to the Gazette

Cowansville, July 4, 1946 – The Canadian Legion, Cowansville branch, will inaugurate Monday at 8.30 p.m., a drive to erect a fitting Cowansville Veteran’s Memorial Hall building in this city.

Members of the Cowansville Branch, No. 99, of the legion are seeking premises containing necessary rooms for meetings and recreation. The site for the building has been given by Miss Nina M. Nesbitt, of Cowansville, and plans for the building have been provisionally approved.

On the evening of the inauguration the speakers will be His Worship Mayor E.A. Boisvert, Maj. Gen. C.B. Price, D.S.O., D.C.M., E.D., president of the Canadian Legion, and Capt. Henry Gonthier, past provincial president.

Veterans will then parade through the streets of Cowansville and a street dance will follow. The board of trustees is composed of Mayor Eugene Boisvert, L.L. Bruck, H.F. Vilas, A.G. Scott, D.J. Barker. Co-chairmen of the Cowansville Legion Memorial Hall Building Fund are, R.L. Brault and J.H. Wood, M.B.E., E.D. The president of the local legion is F.J. Knight.

Organized only last March 14 (1944), the Cowansville Branch of the Canadian Legion (Branch No. 99) has become one of the most active of the Province’s Legion branches. Originally formed with 20 veterans, the organization has grown to 65 in a short period of less than a year, and is now engaged in mapping plans for the re-establishment of veterans of World War II. Legion Colors were dedicated on October 8, 1944 at an impressive ceremony in the front of the Heroes’ Memorial High School at which Provincial President, Hugh Perry, and his First V. P., J. G. Gonthier, were in attendance. One of the important tasks, now being carried on by the veterans, is the education of the public at large concerning their obligations to ex-serviceman. Other projects include rehabilitation and relief and personnel counselling, the latter being carried on with the complete co-operation of the Veterans’ Welfare Bureau in charge of Eli Boisvert.

Plans for the erection of a Legion Memorial Hall after the war are presently under consideration, and will include a cenotaph built in a section of the hall, for various veteran and community affairs. This structure will be built as a living memorial to the Cowansville boys and girls now serving on Active Service. The Heroes’ Memorial High School was erected as a memorial of those who fell during the last Great War. Legion officers elected for 1945 include: President, F. J. Knight; First Vice-President, A. G. Scott; 2nd Vice-President, R. Brault; Sergeant-at-Arms, H. Pugh.

Branch 99 Cowansville, Quebec. Facebook Page- Click

Donate-

Address: 120 Boulevard Davignon, Cowansville, QC J2K 1N8 HoursOpen ⋅ Closes 5 p.m.Phone(450) 263-3543

The Montreal Gazette, July 6, 1946
COWANSVILLE HALL SOUGHT BY COWANSVILLE LEGION
Special to the Gazette
Cowansville, July 4 – The Canadian Legion, Cowansville branch, will ignaugurate Monday at 8.30 p.m., a drive to erect a fitting Cowansville Veteran’s Memorial Hall building in this city.
Members of the Cowansville Branch, No. 99, of the legion are seeking premises containing necessary rooms for meetings and recreation. The site for the building has been given by Miss Nina M. Nesbitt, of Cowansville, and plans for the building have been provisionally approved.
On the evening of the inauguration the speakers will be His Worship Mayor E.A. Boisvert, Maj. Gen. C.B. Price, D.S.O., D.C.M., E.D., president of the Canadian Legion, and Capt. Henry Gonthier, past provincial president.
Veterans will then parade through the streets of Cowansville and a street dance will follow. The board of trustees is composed of Mayor Eugene Boisvert, L.L. Bruck, H.F. Vilas, A.G. Scott, D.J. Barker. Co-chairmen of the Cowansville Legion Memorial Hall Building Fund are, R.L. Brault and J.H. Wood, M.B.E., E.D. The president of the local legion is F.J. Knight.

Fred and Mary Knight of Cowansville, Quebec, I miss them dearly.

I Saw Santa…..

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When I was a child I remember every children’s event that we had at the Legion Branch #99 in Cowansville, Quebec. We always went to the Legion for happy occasions such as summer picnics or Christmas parties, or sometimes even weddings.

 

Each year all of us local children looked forward to that Sunday afternoon at the Legion’s Children’s Christmas party. One by one they would call our names and we would tell Santa our hopes and dreams for Christmas and then tear open our present which was usually a puzzle or a paint by number set.

 

Today, there are still memories of hard wooden chairs, lots of adult chatter over beer and the ozone proof cigarette smoke cloud hanging over the room. Everyone was so nice to us and I assume today they all watched their language when we were around. The memory of war in the 1950s was still fresh in everyone’s mind and by eavesdropping to some of those adult conversations then you would have thought the war had ended about a week ago.

 

Fast forward many decades and I live in Ontario now. I try and go to the Legion Branch #192 breakfast every month as entering any Legion is timeless and it brings back great memories. Saturday I got there very early to celebrate “Breakfast with Santa” just as excited as I was when I was a child.

 

As I ate my delicious breakfast I searched the crowd for Santa but he hadn’t arrived yet. Thirty minutes later I asked someone where Santa was. Apparently Santa was going to be hanging out on the lower floor, so I made my way down there wanting to have a photo with him. It seemed oddly quiet as I walked down the hall. As I glanced into one of the rooms there was Santa in all his glory in his red underwear getting dressed. I was mortified to have disturbed the jolly man, and quickly apologized as I ran up the stairs.

 

When I was a child I used to go to bed Christmas Eve fully clothed as I didn’t want Santa to see me in my underwear. My Dad also used to tell me if I stopped believing in Santa I would only get underwear as a gift. Well, I saw Santa’s underwear last Saturday. Truthfully, I am glad I have always believed in Santa as none of us gals needs to wear red stretchy underwear like that!

 

Apologies Santa, and in reality Santa, I have been very good this week. So, let’s just focus on that!

 

Merry Christmas!

Remembering Remembrance Day -Day 8– To Wear or Not To Wear a Poppy

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West Brom UK footballer James McClean refused to wear a poppy during a match on Saturday, sparking a debate over whether figures in the public eye should have to wear the commemorative flower.

McClean, who has received death threats in the past for shunning the red symbol, said he will not wear a poppy on his shirt during his next match this weekend either.

His actions follow actress Sienna Miller’s controversial decision not to wear a red poppy during an appearance on the BBC’s The Graham Norton Show on Friday.

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Celebrities, presenters and even guests tend to incur the wrath of angry viewers if they appear without the red commemorative flower. People are free to wear a poppy or not. What I do think is hypocritical though, is people who walk in public without one, but make sure they wear one on screen, just so they look like they’re ‘doing the right thing’. My father, a Branch 99 Legion member saw active service in WW2 and refused point blank to wear a poppy in later years. That, he said, what was he fought for, the right to choose. Actually, I figured out the real reason years later- he just kept losing it.

I choose to wear a remembrance poppy to signify my recognition for the contribution of our veterans because this is how I naturally feel according to my beliefs and values. But, I fully accept the prerogative of those whose reasoned beliefs leads them to a different conclusion and to elect to not wear a poppy. This is the nature of liberal pluralism – respect for diverse reasonably-grounded, sincerely-held views. They fought for our right to be able to choose, and for that I am eternally grateful.

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example”- Benjamin Disraeli

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From City News

How do you keep from losing it before Nov. 11?

Here are some tips and tricks for keeping that symbol of remembrance safely fastened above your heart:

1. Borrow a backing. Grab the backing from another pin or even an earring to keep the poppy from slipping off your chest.

2. Erasers. Not just for pencils, an eraser (or at least a piece of one) can be used to hold the pin in place by using it as an improvised backing.

3. Bend it. Stick your poppy in your piece of clothing, then bend the pin up towards the centre of the poppy. Be careful when attempting this!

4. Stick it. Use some adhering elements like strong tape or, if you are so inclined, some gently used gum to hold the pin inside the piece of clothing.

5. Grab a few extra. Toss some extra money in the Royal Canadian Legion collection box and have a few spare poppies with you, just in case. Plus, if the tips above work for you, you can always hand over one of your extras to someone who’s found themselves without one

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Should We be Singing Carols Before Remembrance Day?