September 26th, 2018

Solemn ceremonies mark Remembrance Day

By Jeremy Appel on November 13, 2017.

Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 17 members lead the march to Riverside Veterans Memorial Park Saturday for Remembrance Day ceremonies. --NEWS PHOTO JEREMY APPEL

Hatters remembered those who served our country, both living and passed on, at Medicine Hat’s Robertson Memorial Branch 17 Legion Remembrance Day ceremony.

Comrade Eldon Wells, president of the local branch, provided introductory remarks after a processional of flags Saturday morning at the Esplanade, emphasizing the historic proportions of this year’s Remembrance Day.

“It’s a special year for all of us, as we are celebrating many historic milestones, starting with our Legion’s 90th anniversary, January 11, 1927,” Wells said.

“Also, the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, April 9, 1917, Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1 and finally the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, in which our own Pte. James Peter Robinson of Medicine Hat lost his life, Nov. 6, 1917, which resulted in him posthumously rewarded with the Victoria’s Cross.”

Coinciding with the Medicine Hat ceremony, Redcliff residents paid their own respects with a ceremony at the town’s cenotaph and Parkside School.

MedicineHat’s ceremony also included poetry recitations from three students.

Savanna Delyea of St. Mary’s School recited “What a Poppy Brings to Mind,” Jocelyn McPhail of St. Michael’s School read an untitled poem and Cadet Liam Towles of Crescent Heights presented “We Shall Keep the Faith.”

Veterans, the South Alberta Light Horse, Medicine Hat Police Service and Redcliff RCMP, and others led a march to the Cenotaph at Riverside Veterans’ Memorial Park.

The crowd stood for two minutes of silence at 11 a.m., which was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony, that included local politicians and other dignitaries.

Afterwards, members of the public were invited to lay their wreaths.

Former councillor Bill Cocks, who served as the master of ceremonies for both the indoor and outdoor events, highlighted the important symbolism of the poppy prior to the moment of silence.

“Wearing a poppy is a silent reminder that we appreciate the sacrifice of all our veterans (for) keeping Canada safe and free,” he said.

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