Nova Scotia

Prayer reinstated at Cape Breton school Remembrance Day ceremony

A prayer has been reinstated as part of a Cape Breton's school's Remembrance Day ceremony, one day after Royal Canadian Legion members were outraged when they were told to cut it from the service. 

'You take our men and women that served, no matter where they served, it was prayer that brought them home'

Clarence Dawe served in the Canadian Forces in the 1960s and is a former president of the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command.  (CBC)

A prayer has been reinstated as part of a Cape Breton's school's Remembrance Day ceremony, one day after Royal Canadian Legion members were outraged when they were told to cut it from the service.

Clarence Dawe, the former president of the Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command, said the principal of Jubilee Elementary School in Sydney Mines called the legion office Thursday morning to say she made an error and that the prayer would be welcome.

He said he is relieved to hear it is back.

"Somebody better learn from it," said Dawe, who served in the Canadian Forces in the 1960s. "We have prayers at our legion meetings, we have prayers when we do a tribute to a veteran at a burial — it's an important part of our existence."

A Prayer for People of Courage is typically read by a Christian minister during ceremonies and is about peace, protecting people serving in the military and remembering those who have fallen in battle.

Officials from the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre of Education said the decision to exclude it from the service, which will be held Nov. 6, had been made by the school's administrative staff to make the ceremony more inclusive.

'It's all about peace'

Dawe said he heard from others who were upset when the legion was told Wednesday to remove the prayer, a 92-year tradition.

"We got a lot of calls of support, other groups and fellow veterans who broke down when they were talking to us. They were appalled that somebody would make that kind of a statement," Dawe told CBC's Maritime Noon.

"You take our men and women that served, no matter where they served, it was prayer that brought them home."  

Dawe said he doesn't think anyone of any religion would be offended by the Remembrance Day prayer. 

"His prayer includes, 'remembering those who have fallen,' and it leads on into peace and it's all about peace, the prayer," he said. "What person anywhere in the world wouldn't want to hear a prayer for peace?" 

With files from Maritime Noon, Brent Kelloway

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