• James Armstrong

Remembrance Day ceremonies mark 100th Anniversary of end of WWI


Following the installation of two plaques on the Hudson Cenotaph listing 48 names of residents killed in armed conflicts, the Legion Branch 115 will be unveiling new plaques November 11 displaying the names and home towns of more Vaudreuil-Soulanges who lost their lives during wartime.

The Hudson Legion Branch #115 of the Royal Canadian Legion is holding its annual Remembrance Day parade and ceremonies on Sunday, November 11. The parade consisting of contingents from the Black Watch Army Cadets, Squadron 867 Vaudreuil-Dorion Air Cadets, and No. 3 College Bourget Army Cadets, will leave from the IGA parking lot (484 Main Road, Hudson) at 10:15 a.m. following Main Road east to the cenotaph located at 56 Beach Road. This year, the ceremonies mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I and the 65th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

New commemorative plaques

“A few years ago, we placed two plaques on the cenotaph that listed the names of 48 men from Hudson killed in both world wars,” said Hudson Legion President Rod Hodgson. “When we renovated and rededicated the cenotaph as Place Vimy, we realized it was the only cenotaph in Vaudreuil-Soulanges,” he said. As a result, Hodgson and other members of the Legion decided to research if there were more wartime casualties in the county.

“We found 24 more, 12 from each war, including another one from Hudson,” said Hodgson. Descendants of several of the men being commemorated will be on hand for the unveiling ceremony of the plaques on Sunday. Sometime between 10:30 and 11 a.m., before the main ceremony begins, family members will remove the Canadian flags covering the plaques, according to Hodgson.

“Most of the fallen soldiers were French Canadians from Coteau-du-Lac, Rigaud, Pointe-des-Cascades, Très-Saint-Rédempteur, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Saint-Lazare, all over the county,” said Hodgson. He also researched the possibility of casualties from the Korean War, Cold War and Boer War but came up empty-handed.

“Each name listed on the new plaques will be followed by their home town name,” Hodgson said.

Bells of Peace

This year, to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW I, bells in the towers of churches and town halls will ring out across Canada at sunset, 4:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, November 11.

“They will be rung 100 times,” said Hodgson “because the bells rang out in Britain and Europe when the Armistice was signed 100 years ago.” According to Hodgson, the bell-ringing event was organized by legions across the country. “Hudson will hear the bells of all the churches in town,” he remarked.

Participation from the region

Many local veterans, Legionnaires, Girl Guides and Boy Scout Troops are expected to participate in the parade and wreath laying ceremony. Federal Member of Parliament Peter Schiefke, Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, Soulanges MNA Marilyne Picard and mayors from across the region are expected to attend.

In addition to Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls, Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon, Saint-Lazare Mayor Robert Grimaudo and Rigaud Mayor Hans Gruenwald Jr. will be laying wreaths on behalf of their respective towns.

Following the ceremonies, there will be a reception in the legion hall opposite the cenotaph.

“We’re hoping for nice weather this year,” said Hodgson regarding the outdoor event.