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