Whenever I think of Remembrance Day, my mind turns to my husband’s old friend, the late Major Ed Nixon.
Major Nixon – never Ed or Mister Nixon – was a lifelong North Leasider who with his wife Ruth raised four children who graduated from Leaside High.
While he never saw active duty during World War II, Major Nixon attained his rank serving in the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve where he provided signals for both the navy and army.
According to The Communicator, Major Nixon was an officer in the Irish Regiment and the Toronto Scottish before he joined the Toronto Signal Regiment, in about 1967. He served with the Regiment for two or three years and then was a frequent visitor at monthly dine-ins and a player at the favourite poker table.
He was also a regular visitor at the Royal Canadian Military Institute on University Avenue, where he enjoyed entertaining his friends, my husband included.
Every Remembrance Day he would attend a special ceremony for veterans at Fort York. Though Major Nixon was a man of few words, it’s clear he had high regard for Remembrance Day and felt its meaning deeply.
Many ceremonies continue to be virtual this year, but the symbol of Remembrance Day – the red poppy – will be highly visible. In fact, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Poppy of Remembrance in Canada. Wear it, wear it proudly. November 11 – lest we forget.