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Bringing Remembrance Day ceremonies to retirement homes in Barrie

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A small Remembrance Day ceremony was held at the Waterford Barrie Retirement Residence for those unable to attend Saturday's ceremony.

Ninety-nine-year-old Second World War veteran and Waterford Barrie Retirement resident Marie Warren laid the wreath at Thursday's ceremony.

She said she was 18 when she joined the Air Force "on an impulse one Saturday down in Toronto when they were recruiting. All through my life now, I keep thinking, 'What if I had never joined the Air Force? This wouldn't be happening to me,' or 'I wouldn't have this benefit,' and they keep telling me, 'Thank you for your service,' but I say thank you for allowing me to be part of it because it had made a big difference in my life," said Warren.

Canadian Royal Legion members and four veterans/Waterford Barrie Retirement residents attend a Remembrance Day ceremony on Thurs., Nov. 9, 2023, in Barrie, Ont. (CTV News/Molly Frommer)

Other residents in attendance said it was a very moving ceremony that hit close to home.

"It was a good presentation. It was so special to me because both of my parents were veterans. My mother was a firefighter in London, England, during the bombing, and my father was a sergeant-major in the Canadian army," said Peter Kastner, Waterford Barrie Retirement resident.

Last week, officials with the annual poppy campaign told CTV News it has been difficult finding volunteers to help out, although since then, roughly 20 individuals have stepped up.

"People just came right out and signed up and helped us with the campaign," said Poppy Chairman Fern Taillefer. "One person was in Cuba and got the message in his phone; he got back from Cuba two days ago and showed up at the doorstep and said, I'm here to help."

With only two days left in the campaign, Taillefer said more help is still needed.

"There's only two days left to do a real good push. If you want to come out and give us a hand, I'm asking for one to two hours of your time - that's all. Only two hours of the year, that's all I'm asking for, and the more we get out there, the better it is, and we'll be able to help our veterans even more," said Taillefer.

Anyone wanting to volunteer can sign up at the Barrie Legion.

On Saturday, the Remembrance Day ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the cenotaph located downtown Barrie.

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