Along the street there comes a blare of bugles, a ruffle of drums, A clash of colour beneath the sky.
The flag is passing by!
As a citizen and taxpayer I was disappointed that in the County of Prince Edward there was no Official Declaration, official note or flag recognition, that June 6, was the 75th anniversary of D Day, June 6,1944.(or did I miss something?).
D Day was the largest seaborne invasion in History. The objective was to free Europe from the grip and domination of the evil Nazi regime and the vision of Adolf Hitler, to turn all of Europe including Great Britain, into one greater European Nazi Empire.
Early on the morning of June 6,1944, 5,333 allied ships, and landing craft embarked 175,000 men . The Canadians put 14,000 troops ashore, of whom 359 were killed, the British 58,000, and the Americans 57,500 plus, for a total of 132,715 of whom 3,400 were killed or wounded.
There were five landing beaches code named Juno,(Canada) Sword,and Gold (Britain) Omaha, and Utah.(USA) Prince Edward County was represented in this world changing event.
Rev. Ed Horton formerly a pastor at Picton United Church in the 1980s, was a Padre with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. Padre Horton charged out of the landing craft with the men, and carrying only a walking stick, ran across Juno Beach, stopping beside fallen soldiers to offer a word of comfort or to pray over a dead warrior.
Padre Ed was unscathed.
Woodrow Blakely a soldier with the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, and later a teacher at PECI, arrived at Juno Beach D Day+1 as the Canadians quickly pushed inland and was seriously wounded in the leg on Aug. 14th during a firefight with the Germans.
In an ironic twist, Padre Horton visited Woodrow Blakely in the field hospital in France, and met him again at Picton United Church forty years later.
I believe that we owe it to these man and others to recognize their magnificent contributions and sacrifice for our safety and freedom.
It’s disappointing that no official County of Prince Edward recognition or Declaration was offered.
Picton however, courtesy of the Picton BIA, is festooned with rainbow flags which remind us of God’s promises and blessings that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Genesis 9:13 “I have set my rainbow in the sky and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”
Lest we forget.
Robert C. Wilson