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Canada has a long and distinguished history of participation in conflicts world-wide, starting with the Boer War and carrying on through two World Wars, the Korean War, many peace keeping assignments and participation in the Afghanistan conflict. Thousands of Canadians have volunteered over that time to serve their Country and many have done so and paid the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives far from home. We as Canadians honour their memory and service and also pay tribute to those currently serving our Country by pausing to honour them every Nov. 11, at cemeteries and cenotaphs all around Canada.
2020 has brought special challenges to our participation in such ceremonies, as COVID-19 has caused most local ceremonies to be cancelled in favour of some form of virtual event.
The Waterloo Warbirds recognize this and as a result have decided to honour all those who have served by overflying all nine cenotaphs in Guelph and the Region of Waterloo, plus flying over three major cemeteries (Woodlawn in Guelph, Mount View in Cambridge and Mount Hope in Kitchener-Waterloo) that have significant war memorials and buried service members.
“If it is operational, we will have it in the air,” said Derek Hammond, president of the Waterloo Warbirds. Waterloo Warbirds operates a fleet of five historic aircraft, including one WWII trainer (Harvard Mk IIb) and four jet trainers (MiG-15, de Havilland Vampire, Canadair CT-133 Silver Star and an Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin) out of the Region of Waterloo International Airport.
The flight will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. A specific route will be released prior to the day of the flight. Depending on aircraft availability, the Honour Flight may be split into two flights covering all the mentioned areas noted above.
As a sign of respect for other service members also, the flyover will include Woodland Cemetery in Kitchener, where there is a significant number of German war dead interred.
To quote Robert Laurence Binyon, “They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”