Amy and Jessica Robins

By Ron Stang

Children played a central role in a Nov. 11 Remembrance Day ceremony at Windsor’s Jewish Community Centre.

Jessica Robins performed the Last Post and she and sister Amy read the poetry of their great uncle and one of the community’s World War II heroes, Maurice Strosberg. And Micah and Liora Mechanic read the iconic World War I poem by Canadian soldier John McCrae, a staple of Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Some 55 people turned out in the foyer of the centre, which doubles as a sacred ground to remember Windsor Jewish war vets – 317 altogether – whose names are engraved in a black granite tablet affixed to the wall. In addition, there is a video screen with rotation of veterans’ photos and names.

Event organizer Bill Mechanic said he was happy with the turnout, noting the Remembrance Day ceremony was revived only a few years ago after being dormant for several years.

“It’s not a matter of lest we forget, thus we have already forgot and that’s what we can’t let happen,” he said after the ceremony.

Jay Katz, community centre director, said the event is a “reminder of how lucky we are in the modern world to live a relatively free and fair life in a free and fair country.”

During the ceremony, all the names of the 317 veterans – virtually all deceased – were read aloud. But in attendance was the last surviving local member, Luis Parnes, of the Royal Canadian Legion Balfour.