Vincent Joyce was all smiles Saturday afternoon at the culmination of the second annual Canadian Veterans and Military Awareness Day.
Joyce, founder and president of the Pictou County Military Museum, and a committee have been working on the awareness day since last year’s event which saw the newly appointed Brigadier General Christopher Thurrott in attendance.
“It has been great,” said Joyce, adding the feedback he received from those in attendance was incredible.
“We had forces from all over,” said Joyce. “It was a complete success and I am very pleased with the turnout. The day ran very smoothly.”
Representatives from RCMP, army and navy were present with displays of the Royal Canadian artillery with a transport truck and C Howitzer as well as a Coyote armoured carrier and the command centre for communications.
“Today we had representatives from the Nova Scotia Highlanders, RCMP, Royal Canadian Legion and cadet corps taking part in the march past,” explains Joyce.
This year, the reviewing officer was 100-year-old Struan Wadden of Westville, a former sergeant whose great nephews, Lt.-Col. Shawn Hale of the First Nova Scotia Highlanders and
Major Steven Hale of the West Nova Scotia Regimen were also present.
“Struan was so excited, he was ready at 9 a.m. this morning and they had to hold him down,” he says.
Joyce was proud of the efforts to make the day a reality and he fact that Pictou County and the surrounding area wanted to come out and see what the military and veterans have done.
“It’s great,” says Joyce, “to see the happiness on the children’s faces and to see the military recruiting and getting new members because of today.”
Joyce has already begun talking to people regarding next year’s event and hopes the awareness day will continue to be an annual event.
“I am hoping it grows each year,” he says. “I just want to thank everyone for coming out and all of the sponsors that helped make this a reality and all of the media for all of their great effort.”