Tannie Lee Arsenault was the first to lay a wreath at the Charlottetown Cenotaph on Tuesday.
“It is a big deal to me because it helps me. It makes be go back and think of everything, all the sacrifices they make, even during peace time,” she said.
“I am so elated to see such turnout of people, all generations, all cultures all walks of life. I think it is just wonderful.”
Arsenault lost her late husband, warrant officer Joseph (Keith) Arsenault, died in a joint Canadian-U.S. military exercise, in 1989.
Keith was aboard a Canadian Armed Forces Lockheed CC-130E Hercules plane that crashed-landed while approaching Fairbanks-Fort Wainwright Airport in Alasaka.
Despite living in confusing times, Arsenault said it was important for Canadians to stick together and remember the sacrifices the men and women made and continue to make for their country.
Arsenault’s grandfather John B. MacDonald and two great-uncles Norman MacDonald and Earl Howett served in the Second World War and she said she owes a lot to her family who has served in the military.
“They all wanted to do their part and they all wanted to make this world a better place,” she said.
“I am so proud, appreciative, humbled by all the men and women who have served and are still serving.”
The cold and grey of this Remembrance Day, only punctuated the two minutes of silence, held by the hundreds of Charlottetown residents at 11 a.m.
Light snow began to fall on the red poppies pinned to the coats and sweaters of the people, heads bowed as they reflected.
Gerard Coyle, who has taken part in the Colour Party portion of the Remembrance Day ceremony for the last 20 years, said he continues to participate every year for his comrades.
“I enjoy doing it.”
Coyle just celebrated his 80th birthday and although he never served in the Canadian armed forces, he doesn’t foresee ending his service to the Charlottetown Legion Branch 1 and its members anytime soon.
The former electrician—30 years with Maritime Electric—served twice as president of the Legion and continues to serve as an executive member.
“It’s all working out great, I help out however I can, for our comrades.”