UNITY — For the last several years it has been traditional to light up Memorial Park and the cenotaph base to honour Remembrance Day, the Legion, and veterans. Past years have had a number of community volunteers collaborating to take on the task.
Candlelight ceremonies began in the Netherlands to show appreciation, thanks and to honour those who liberated the country and its people from German occupation during the Second World War. Children would place lit candles on the graves of Canadian soldiers, remaining lit overnight in a silent tribute. Residents were drawn to the soft glow of the candles’ light. While these commemorative candlelight tributes are an annual tradition in the Netherlands and European countries, similar tributes now take place in Canada in public and private cemeteries as well as community cenotaphs or memorial parks.
After several members of Unity Kin Club participated in candle lighting activity in 2020 and 2021, they decided this was something their club wanted to take on, in their mandate of service to the community. Club members saw the importance of this memorial tribute and wanted to be part of the actions continuing. The 2022 version are solar powered.
“We consulted with the Legion on the order and offer to fund the candles,” said Kin President, Nora Aldred, who added the candles were charged fully before their work party set them up.
The service club, when they arrived at the park the early evening of Nov. 8, realized the candles would not be seen with the amount of snow on paths and cenotaph base. Challenges have never stopped this organization in the past and they quickly jumped into action bringing a couple of snowblowers and shovels to clear out the path that leads to the cenotaph as well as shovelling off the base.
Once the snow clearing was complete, club members set to the task of lining the path and cenotaph with the tribute candles for the days preceding and including Remembrance Day.
Candles remained lit until after Nov. 11.
Unity Kin Club has undertaken a number of random acts of kindness in the past few years as part of their extension of Kin Day of Kindness. The candle lighting combined both RAK and community service and members remarked that they were proud and happy to be part of this task.