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Remembrance displays, poppies sends message to veterans

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Remembrance Day in Tillsonburg has traditionally been marked by several downtown businesses with prominent window displays.

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Local schools learn about Remembrance Day.

And in addition to the Royal Canadian Legion lapel poppy campaign, this year the community as a whole had an opportunity to support veterans with the purchase of a Lions Club lawn poppy.

It’s about remembrance.

“They (Salvation Army) have got a beautiful one, they really put their hearts into it,” said Paul Robinson, padre for the Tillsoburg Legion Br. 153. “They always do. I think that’s very touching, very meaningful.”

Just down the street, Trinkets Gift Shoppe is also known for its Remembrance Day window displays.

“She (Carrianne Hall) always has a beautiful display,” said Robinson. “A couple of years ago she had a dress made out of poppies.”

New this year, the Tillsonburg Lions Club launched a poppy campaign featuring for the lawn and/or window. Funds raised go directly to veterans. The final amount is expected to be announced at the Legion’s Remembrance Day dinner.

Robinson bought three of the Lions Club poppies for his home, and noted St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church purchased six (where they now have 10).

Combined, the lawn poppies, the business window displays, the traditional lapel poppy, and the schools all send a message to the veterans.

“I think it means a lot to all the veterans,” said Robinson. “I think it speaks volumes to them to see these poppies and just to see the displays, like the one you see at the Salvation Army. And they need to keep hearing and seeing it. We repeat so often, ‘Lest We Forget.’ It has to keep being told. That’s how any nation … it’s how any culture keeps its stories going – it keeps retelling them. It’s easy to lose it (if you don’t).”

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As padre for the Tillsonburg Legion Br. 153, the retired St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church pastor always made it a point on the Sunday before Remembrance Day to have representation from the Legion and Peacekeeper Associations.

“We made the whole service about Remembrance Day.”

This year, Paul Penelton, the new pastor at St. Andrew’s, wanted a Remembrance Day display. A church member and a friend arranged the display.

“I was thrilled,” said Robinson, who contributed items to it.

On Thursday, Nov. 11, Robinson, due to (knee) surgery Tuesday, will not be able to attend the Remembrance Day service at the Tillsonburg cenotaph. He does, however, plan to watch the Town of Tillsonburg’s Facebook live-stream, which starts at 10:45 a.m.

cabbott@postmedia.com

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