A large crowd watched in admiration on Wednesday as the men and women of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) marched in unison, marking a milestone at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

“It’s important to celebrate our culture, and celebrate what we’ve done, and commemorate all the hard work and sweat that occurred over the last 75 years,” said Colonel Martin Corriveau, Director RCEME.

The unit, made up of soldiers who were vehicle, material and weapons technicians, was created in 1944.

Veterans Tom Allen and Tom Thompson both served in World War II and were at the base today for the 75th anniversary.

“I enjoyed the military, really did,” said 92-year-old Thompson. “There were a few times I was thinking of getting out but changed my mind,” he chuckled.

One of the original welders, 97-year-old Allen, attended the ceremony with his family and with tears welling in his eyes said it brings back a lot of memories. “(It’s) special to be here.”

In a salute to the unit’s past, there will be a return to its original headdress.

The country’s 4,500 electrical engineers will now wear the blue beret that was last worn in 1968.