The reveille permeated the breezy morning air around the cenotaph at the Esplanade in Georgetown, Penang. Guests stood to attention as the haunting bugle sound hit a crescendo acknowledging the many who had sacrificed their lives protecting mankind against destruction caused by war.
The morning service was to mark the centennial of Armistice Day signaling the end of World War 1. The end of the “War to end all wars” came into force at the 11th hour, the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
Held on Sunday, November 18, the momentous occasion was organised by Persatuan Veteran Keselamatan Pulau Pinang (PVKPP).
“Fallen heroes are human beings like you and me. They had dreams, aspirations, love, family and a great desire to live. They had fear too but their love for their King, country and the loved ones they left behind surmounted their fear, creating a heroism within to defend them even if it meant losing their own life,” said Major Sivarajan Ramanathan (Rtd), President of PVKPP.
“Let us remember them by ending all wars of violence. Let us declare war only on ignorance, poverty, discrimination, racism, hatred, extremism and corruption,” added Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, the guest of honour.
Present were British High Commissioner HE Vicki Treadell, Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji HE Kolinio Gata Takali, Charge De Affaires of Embassy of Nepal HE Kumar Raj Kharel and Consul of Royal Thai Consulate-GeneralHE Rittichai Tubsuwan.
Keep a date with Issue 294 of Ipoh Echo for the full report, inclusive of an interview with James Jeremiah, 94, the only surviving veteran from the volunteer Eurasian Company Penang which saw action during the Japanese invasion of Penang between December 9 and 19, 1941.