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Local veteran of D-Day to be honoured this weekend

The public will have opportunities to pay their respects this weekend to Art Boon, who died March 12, age 98
Local hero and war veteran Art Boon will be honoured this weekend with a public funeral. (Contributed photo)

The public will have opportunities to pay their respects this weekend to local hero and Second World War veteran Art Boon, who died March 12, age 98.

There will be two public visitations at Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, on Saturday from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m. On Sunday morning he will be moved to the Stratford Armoury, 80 Waterloo St. S., where he will lay in state for military viewing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Members of the general public are also welcome.

At 1:30 p.m. Sunday, with a military escort, Boon will be taken to the Stratford Rotary Complex, 353 McCarthy Rd., for a public funeral service from 2-3 p.m. Local resident and well-known artist Loreena McKennitt will sing at the service.

In addition to being the honorary colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force, McKennitt also worked for many years with Boon and his son Rick Boon to help organize local Remembrance Day ceremonies and other events honouring veterans.

Boon was a champion of Canadian war veterans and a well-known fixture of the local community. At age 19, his first encounter with battle was the invasion of Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Once he returned from the war in 1946, he attended and helped to organize every single Remembrance Day Ceremony at the cenotaph. He knew the toll war took on people and spent much of his life trying to ensure successive generations would remember and respect the sacrifices made by the men and women who went to battle.

RelatedCountry, community, family: Boon gave back his entire life