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Salute to vets


John Sealy

Salute to vets

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THE?WEATHER?was fine. And, yes, a cloud did come by to rain on the parade. But the bands still marched out and the soldiers still beat their drums.
And while a few buckled at the knees for a few moments, the others determinedly carried on.
The occasion was Remembrance Day in Heroes Square, The City, yesterday. Many came to lay wreaths in memory of those who lost their lives during World Wars I and II.
The special dignitaries were Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Acting Chief Justice Sherman Moore. Opposition Leader Owen Arthur
also laid a wreath.
The Diplomatic Corps and uniformed organisations also took turns in the wreath-laying ceremony as scores of Barbadians stood stoically through the brief shower and swelling humidity to be part of the moment.
Units, including those from the Barbados Defence Force, Royal Barbados Police Force, The Barbados Legion, Barbados Fire Service and Barbados Prison Service were precise in movement and immaculate in attire.
For spectator Carina Wilson “it was a fantastic parade, and helps the people to understand the purpose of the military service”.
Acting Chief Justice Moore came at 7:47 a.m, followed by Prime Minister Stuart approximately three minutes later. The parade gave a general salute.
The arrival of the Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands, representative of Queen Elizabeth II, was signalled by a royal salute and the playing of the Barbados National Anthem.
After the Chief Justice, Prime Minister and Governor General were met by the BDF’s chief of staff Colonel Alvin Quintyne and Deputy Commissioner of Police Bertie Hinds, the parade was brought to attention as the clock to the east struck the 8 a.m hour.
The saluting gun fired one round each to mark the beginning and end of two minutes of silence at which time the parade was called to “attention” and the buglers sounded the Last Post.
As the parade stood at ease the official wreaths were laid. Then there was the interdenominational service .
The morning, however, was not without its mirthful moments.
As the National Anthem was being played, the solemnity was interrupted by the crowing of a cock that turned out to be a the ring of a cellphone – much to the chagrin of the people around.
“You idiot!” someone hissed at the nonchalant offender.
 Then there was the man who, in reacting to the pounding sound of the saluting gun, said to any who would listen: “Every year he doing dat. I tell he stop; he gun kill somebody wid a heart attack.”
With the march past completed around 8:40 a.m, Heroes Square returned to its usual Sunday mood.

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