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(GIS) – President of the Saint Lucia branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Service Legion, Haynes Cyril, is appealing to the nation at large to show greater appreciation for the selfless contribution of the veterans of World War I and World War II.
On Sunday, Nov. 12, members of the Saint Lucia branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex- Service Legion converged at the Derek Walcott Square for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony, which was followed by the annual reunion at the prime minister’s official residence at Vigie.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Cyril, now 96, and one of only two surviving Saint Lucian veterans of World War II, said both the fallen soldiers and those who survived the wars, played their part and now the onus is on the society to give back.
He added that Remembrance Day is one of the most important days of the year for the veterans of both wars.
“It is a day that we honour our young men and women who did not come back from the wars; who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and the freedom of the world. We do this by wearing a bright red poppy to show that we have not forgotten them. We also honour those who came back from the wars and those who volunteered to help win the war, and the peace we now enjoy.”
Mr. Cyril, who has been serving as the President of the Saint Lucia Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex- Service Legion, has also called for increased support for the poppy appeal fund not just around Remembrance Day but throughout the year. He said the few remaining members of the Legion are in their 80’s and 90’s, and are in need of assistance.
Nov. 11 marked the 98th anniversary of World War I. Patron of the Saint Lucia Branch of the Royal Commonwealth Ex- Service Legion, Her Excellency, Dame Pearlette Louisy and acting Prime Minister Hon. Guy Joseph, who were both present at Sunday’s ceremony, also echoed the plea for a greater demonstration of support and appreciation for the veterans.