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‘Don’t wait until Nov. 11’: London marks Remembrance Day

London Remembrance Day ceremony 2019.
London Remembrance Day ceremony 2019. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

London joined its Canadian peers in honouring those who sacrificed everything, and often lost everything, to protect Canada and its way of life.

One of countless heroes kept top of mind on Remembrance Day is Ron Jewell.

READ MORE: Remembrance Day in the nation’s capital set to get underway with wreath laying, salutes

The St. Thomas man spent 28 years with the Canadian Armed Forces in a military career that saw him embark on tours in Korea, Germany and Cyprus.

Jewell then spent the next chapter of his life dedicating nearly 40 years helping his courageous peers through the Royal Canadian Legion. His work with the legion would later grant him the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.

Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio presents Ron Jewell with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his work with the Royal Canadian Legion.
Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio presents Ron Jewell with the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his work with the Royal Canadian Legion. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

For Jewell, Remembrance Day is one that’s bittersweet.

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“It’s a very sad day because I remember the 516 lads who didn’t come home from Korea,” Jewell said.

“The wonderful thing … everybody is here to remember those fallen comrades.”

READ MORE: London cenotaph unveiled and rededicated

As for marking Remembrance Day, Jewell said there are a number of actions that Canadians should remember to take.

The first is wearing a poppy and supporting the Poppy Fund, a collection that goes to the Legion in order to support veterans.

Jewell also suggests attending a service, if possible.

“More importantly, if you see a veteran… don’t wait until Nov. 11. Always recognize them and thank them,” Jewell said.

“That goes a long way when somebody says that to you.”

London Remembrance Day parade through downtown 2019
London Remembrance Day parade through downtown 2019. Sawyer Bogdan / 980 CFPL

The city is marked Remembrance Day with a veterans’ parade that started from the Delta Armouries on Dundas Street at 10:15 a.m. followed by a service at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park.

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Over 1000 Londoners came out pay their respects to Canada’s fallen heroes.

Navy Chaplin, Catherin Anne George spoke at the ceremony about the importance of continuing the Remembrance Day tradition.

“The first world war, known as the great war, was called the war to end all wars, but we know it did not end all wars, the first war, the second world war, the Afghanistan conflict, there are so many conflicts around the world,” said George.

“Each of us is called personally to find a way to remember what has happened and the lives that were sacrificed in so many ways.”

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