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Ste. Anne’s Hospital honours Veteran’s Week with commemorative ceremony

Click to play video: 'Ste. Anne’s hospital staff honour veterans ahead of Remembrance Day'
Ste. Anne’s hospital staff honour veterans ahead of Remembrance Day
WATCH: The Ste. Anne's hospital kicked off veteran's week on Friday with a commemorative ceremony. It was the first event of many to honour the veterans that have served our country, and the dozens that live in the Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue long-term care centre. Olivia O'Malley reports – Nov 5, 2021

Veteran’s Week started Friday morning at the Ste. Anne’s Hospital with a commemorative ceremony.

The event, held at the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue veterans hospital, was the first of many to honour the veterans that have served our country, and the dozens that live in the long-term care centre.

“The war was good days and bad days. Brings back all kinds of memories and you try to live with them,” said resident David Barkun who served for 4.5 years in the air force in the Second World War.

The Ste. Anne’s veterans committee organized the toned-down commemorative ceremony. Its members along with special guests attended in-person on Friday.

The 69 other veterans at the hospital, from the Second World War and the Korean war, will watch a recording of the event on Monday.

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Isabelle Labrie, on-site manager at Ste. Anne’s Hospital, said it’s the most important ceremony of the year for Ste. Anne’s veterans

“It’s a rich reminder what they did for us to have a free country today…and also to remember the ones who passed away,” said Labrie.

The hospital caters to those who have served but also helps active military members who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This year has seen the end of the service in Afghanistan. And it is very, very important that we have those services for people who have fought,” said Lynne McVey, CEO of the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal.

The traditional service included songs and poems before the laying of the wreaths. Each member of the veterans’ committee lay a tribute to their own branch of the armed force they served under.

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“When they (Canadian troops) landed on the beaches at Juno, they went right through the Germans. Zing, just like that. The Americans took forever. But we got in — zing! I was very proud of that,” said Barkun.

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Ahead of Remembrance Day, Ste. Anne veterans want Canadians to think about the sacrifies of those who fought for our country, including those who didn’t make it home.

“I think we should be constantly reminded of what took place in the past so that they’re free today,” said James Ritchie who served in the Second World War with the The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, a component within the Canadian Armed Forces’ Communications and Electronics Branch.

The veterans hope Canadians continue to learn stories from the past.

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