Mark Clairmont |

At the going up of the sun — they will remember them Monday.

A cold, wet front isn’t expected to diminish crowds Nov. 11 in towns and villages across Muskoka at the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.

It’s possible numbers may even be greater this year, as opportunities to salute Second World War veterans become scarcer.

Either way, the core of the corps will be there at your local Royal Canadian Legion cenotaph.

The aged, the underage, those crippled and scarred mentally and physically by war — or just crippled by arthritic winter-like weather.

The ceremonies will be a little longer as the march tempo slows to below 120 beats per minute as colour guards, pipe bands and the brave soldier on — all a little older.

The mind is willing — but the flesh and bones are weaker now.

And while many they may be chilled to the bone, and stomping their feet to stay warm, when it comes to the reading of the names of the fallen and Last Post, they’ll struggle and straighten up a little either on foot or sitting down in chairs to hear and salute a past that’s decades behind but still fresh in this minute and in their minds.

There will be lots of colourful green wreaths, festooned with dozens of red poppies wrapped in purple ribbons bearing the names of their country, their province, town and local businesses.

It’ll be sombre for the most part.

But as young people help place the floral tributes on slabs of cold stone, at the going down of the sun, they will still remember them.

Ceremonies begin just before 11 a.m.

Following the Gravenhurst service, at 2:30 p.m., there will be a celebration of 80 years of the Gravenhurst legion with a number of displays. All are welcome to stay or return later.

An afternoon drop-in at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 celebrates the 80th anniversary of the Harry Wray legion branch Monday afternoon.
The young faces that line the walls of the Gravenhurst legion are a testament to the young men who went off to defend their home and country.
The war is over! But the memories live on every year on Nov. 11 – rain or shine.
Branch #302 is one of the busiest and most active Royal Canadian Legions in Muskoka.
The Gravenhurst legion moved into its current location in 1961 after starting out on Bay Street next to where the Muskoka Wharf is now. The beautiful stone building remains.
At the end of the Second World War an annual Drumhead Service took place at Gull Lake Park.