It’s a common spot for the men and women in Canada’s military to stop and grab something to eat.
La Belle et le Boeuf Restaurant is located in the same town as the Royal Military College and base, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
But on Remembrance Day, all military staff — active and retired — receive their lunch at no charge.
”It’s good to have it. it’s good to be able to gather around the table and have a good meal like this,” retired Major Frédéric Jean told Global News.
He served in Haiti, Central Africa and Afghanistan.
”Remembrance Day is always a bit emotional. I think about lost friends mostly, and recognizing the sacrifices that people made,” he said.
Those sacrifices are well recognized by the restaurant’s owners. They’ve been serving active and retired members of the Armed Forces every Remembrance Day since 2017.
”I like to give back. I’ve had personal friends in the military and it’s given me a much bigger appreciation, seeing all the smiles on these guys’ faces when they come in,” Codey Daly, district manager, La Belle et La Boeuf, told Global News.
Today, they served more than 200 members of the Armed Forces.
Warrant Officer Gino Lamarre served in Bosnia in the 1990s. Remembrance Day evokes a lot of memories, especially toward his fallen colleagues.
”They give their life, and when you think about that, this is the most sacrifice you can do,” he said.
Daly says he plans to continue offering free meals at La Belle et La Boeuf on future Remembrance Days for as long as possible.