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Brooklin legion raising money for local cenotaph for Remembrance Day

Bert Harding of the Royal Canadian Legion, branch 152 explains to Brooklin resident Bill Windrem where they want to move future Remembrance Day services and erect a cenotaph.
Bert Harding of the Royal Canadian Legion, branch 152 explains to Brooklin resident Bill Windrem where they want to move future Remembrance Day services and erect a cenotaph. Aaron Streck/ Global News

With Remembrance Day just around the corner, Canadians prepare to honour those men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.

In Brooklin, an annual ceremony will take place once again this year.

But the hope is to have a new location as well as a new cenotaph for next year’s service.

“We love this community and we’re going to do this,” said Bert Harding, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 152, youth education chairman.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch 152 in Brooklin, like so many others across the country, are in the midst of raising money for their annual Poppy Campaign.

But it’s not the only campaign near and dear to their hearts.

“We’ve never had a proper cenotaph we called our own,” said Harding.

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For the past several decades, the Brooklin legion has held its annual Remembrance Day ceremony outside Luther Vipond Memorial Arena.

But the branch is looking to move it to the Brooklin Community Centre and Library, hopefully with a brand new cenotaph.

“This response from the community has been outstanding — everyone is behind this and everyone wants us to get it done so they can see it,” said Harding.

The hope was to have it ready for this year but it has not been easy raising the $75,000 necessary; they remain $20,000 short.

“At times, it gets very challenging but we’re not giving up,” said Harding.

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Bill Windrem, like so many others in the community, has stepped up.

The Brooklin resident recently ran 30 kilometres, raising $1,500.

“I have two sons myself and I want to make sure they’re aware of the sacrifices of others to give them the freedom that they can gratefully enjoy today,” said Bill Windrem, a Brooklin resident.

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“It’s nice to have someone in the community behind you when you start a project such as this. It’s not a small thing to do but we’re getting it done,” said Harding.

The new goal is to have the cenotaph ready in time for next Remembrance Day — where they will honour those who gave us, and continue to give us, our freedom.