Next week we observe Remembrance Day.
Memorial monuments and cenotaphs have been erected across this country to honour service men and women who fought to secure our freedom.
Cenotaphs, from the Greek word meaning empty tomb, were originally built to honour those buried in foreign lands who served in the First World War.
Since that time many have been amended to include the Second World War and all subsequent wars in which our soldiers have participated.
Tillsonburg’s Memorial, placed in a very busy part of town, sits in front of the Town Centre mall on Broadway. The Town of Tillsonburg dedicated the monument to those who served in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War.
Stop for a minute and remember.
Delhi’s Cenotaph sits in a park along Highway 3 and King Street. The park also includes a memorial dedicated by Hungarian refugees who fled communism as a thank you to the citizens of Canada who welcomed those refugees.
The Royal Canadian Legion, Delhi Br. 125 is caretaker of the cenotaph, which is made up of three sections, the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. It also honours those who serve as peacekeepers. Stop and remember.
The Norwich War Memorial was unveiled in 1921 and honours the 43 who served and the seven who died in the First World War from North Norwich Township. The names of those lost during the Second World War were added in 1956. The beautiful statue of The Weeping Woman sits on the grounds of the Emily Stowe Public School, along the heavily travelled Highway 59 and Stover Street.
In the Norwich Gazette it was described as “The Spirit of Canada bowed in grief and sorrow, weeping for her lost sons.” Go have a look and remember.
A.E. Moore, of Otterville, designed and built the Otterville’s cenotaph, which was erected by the citizens of South Norwich Township and unveiled in 1932. It sits at the entrance to the Otterville Community Park and honours the 17 South Norwich Township men who did not come home from the First World War and the 94 who served and one nursing sister. A plaque dedicated to those who fought in the Second World Was is affixed to the building by the swimming pool inside the park.
A neighbour to the Otterville memorial says there are few days that go by that someone, a couple or family, doesn’t stop to read, run their fingers along a recognized name, and take a moment to reflect.
Remembrance isn’t just for Nov. 11. Don’t just pass by these memorials, stop, offer a prayer, remember, and say thank you.
Some information in this column is credited to Tim Laye, who has travelled Ontario documenting cenotaphs and memorials.