Varnavair 153 Air Cadets hold 12-hour vigil at the cenotaph

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Tillsonburg's 12-hour Remembrance Day Vigil is not new, just new to the current Varnavair 153 Air Cadets.

"It's from 9 at night, the night before Remembrance Day, till 9 a.m. on Remembrance Day," said Flight Sergeant Justin Bell. "It's to prolong the remembrance of all the soldiers that fought for us and died for us."

Ten air cadets participated in shifts at the cenotaph on Broadway, including Flight Sergeant Bell and Flight Corporal Jordan Esper who shared the final shift ending on Nov. 11, less than two hours before the town's regular Remembrance Day ceremony would take place.

"Hour-and-a-half shifts," noted Flight Corporal Esper.

"You did your first half hour, then you had a half-hour break, then you went back on for another half hour," said Flight Sergeant Bell. "It was nice, you had time to think, you had time to reflect, it was a good night."

It may have been decades since Varnavair's last vigil at the cenotaph.

"First time in a few years," said Flight Corporal Jordan Esper. "I don't remember how long ago."

"Our squadron did it numerous years ago," nodded Flight Sergeant Bell. "Quite a while ago."

Located in a visible downtown location, there were people out and about overnight and cars driving past the cenotaph on a cold night. Some stopped to pay their respects.

And it was cold, Flight Corporal Esper smiled.

"Normally we have our parkas on," said Flight Sergeant Bell. "This was our last shift so we just decided to take them off."


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