New Brunswick

Sackville man pays tribute to local veterans

Sackville's Remembrance Day parade route will be dotted with banners honouring the town's veterans this year. Garth Zwicker wanted to find a special way to pay tribute to those who served in the war.

Garth Zwicker spent past year working to put up banners around town in memory of those who served in the war

Sackville's Remembrance Day parade route is lined with banners paying tribute to the town's veterans. 0:44

Sackville's Remembrance Day parade route will be dotted with banners honouring the town's veterans this year.

Garth Zwicker of Sackville, N.B., wanted to find a special way to pay tribute to those who served in the war.

Inspired by what he saw in other cities, the secretary of the Sackville legion, spent the past year working to create the banners.

Zwicker said Sackville, like many other small towns in New Brunswick, has a strong connection to the military.

"There is a considerable amount of men and women who served, particularly during the Second World War, from Sackville, Dorchester, Port Elgin," said Zwicker.

He thinks that is no coincidence.

"If something needs to be done, then every person steps up and wants to be a part of it. And I think that's a wonderful thing to be said about every small town. Generally your community looks at something and says — we're not going to wait for somebody to fix it."

Heartwarming response

The banners line Lorne Street, starting at the local legion and extending to the town's cenotaph. 

Zwicker said he initially received town approval to put up 10, but was overwhelmed by the response he received from families. In the end, he settled for 16 banners, but believes that number will easily increase, as he has already received several requests for next year's Remembrance Day.

"It's been absolutely amazing and heartwarming to talk to the families, and to see the pictures and to read the stories. There's so much history and there's so much more you can understand," said Zwicker.

16 banners honouring war veterans line Sackville's Lorne Street, starting at the local legion and extending to the town's cenotaph. (CBC)

Zwicker, whose own father served in Korea, said he made the decision not to include ranks on the banners, because he wanted to highlight the fact that the veterans he honoured, like many elsewhere, came back after the war ended, pursued other careers and became active members of Sackville's community. 

Their stories didn't end when the war did.

Stories of the war

After Remembrance Day, the banners will be returned to the veterans' families. Along with them, each family shared a story about the one they were honouring at a ceremony last month to unveil the banners.

Some were touching stories about the realities of war, others lighter anecdotes.

Each family shared a story about the one they were honouring at a ceremony last month to unveil the banners.