One hundred and twenty-eight Canadian flags were hoisted in Centennial Park to honour fallen Canadian soldiers last weekend.
The ceremony was held Saturday, Oct. 17 with a large number of members of the Ponoka Legion, Ponoka firefighters, dignitaries and town residents eager to show their support.
Each flag represents 1,000 fallen Canadian veterans and special plaques were ordered by family members of those veterans to honour them. Flags fluttered brightly on a sunny and windy day with dignitaries taking time to recognize the efforts of those soldiers.
Reverend Len Eichler of the Legion said one of the freedoms Canadians have is the ability to vote. That wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifices of those soldiers.
“There are hundreds of millions of people in the world who have never been able to do that once,” said Eichler.
He said the ceremony was an important recognition, “because of the sacrifices of thousands of members of our fellow country.”
Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr was proud to be part of the ceremony. He said the Maple Leaf is a, “banner around which people rally and follow.”
The ceremony is a recognition of Canada, truth and freedom of speech and the flags will be a reminder to everyone passing by that they are Canadians, he explained. He suggests Canadians need to celebrate the victories of the past but should not forget the great cost to humankind.
Coun. Marc Yaworski, acting as deputy mayor, was proud to represent the Town of Ponoka in the ceremony and suggested Canadian veterans are heroes in the eyes of many. “Today we celebrate our Canadian heroes from battles long ago to those who are fighting today,” said Yaworski.
County deputy Reeve Bryce Liddle added the sacrifice can be seen clearly with the number of flags raised in the ceremony.
“When you look at it, 1,000 men and women for every flag, it’s an enormous sacrifice,” said Liddle.
The ceremony was followed by volunteers raising the flags in unison and then attaching them to the fence. Ponoka was one of five Canadian communities to take part. The others were Sylvan Lake, Kingston, Ont.; Vernon, B.C. and Charlottetown, P.E.I.