Simple actions. Astonishing results.

Leslie M. Miller, lieutenant in the Canadian Corps.

The padre stepped up to the lectern this past Sunday morning in Shedden, Ont. The audience at the community centre for the Remembrance service settled into silence. The clergyman unfolded his papers, that I thought would contain a prayer, a piece of scripture or perhaps the words of a hymn. But, no, he looked out at the assembly of cadets, veterans and the public in the audience and introduced his Nov. 11 thoughts this way.

“From simple actions, come astonishing results,” he said.

It was a wonderful life

Late on June 6, 1944, Lt. Garth Webb (standing at centre) and his 14th Field Regiment artillery crew paused to reflect on the highs and lows of their D-Day experiences.

The day before the big opening the French police built a security fence around it. Workers set up wooden benches for an audience of 5,000. Rain left the glass and titanium-clad building on the Normandy beach glistening like a polished jewel. And inside the museum itself Canadian army cadets removed the pins from nearly 44,000 poppies – the pinless Remembrance symbols would be dropped from an aircraft during the ceremony – symbolizing the number of Canadians killed in the Second World War.

“I was on this beach 59 years ago,” Garth Webb said during the opening of the Juno Beach Centre on the D-Day anniversary in 2003. “And it’s just as big a thrill to be here today.”