A second year in a row the Ponoka Legion will hold a Flags of Remembrance ceremony in Ponoka.
Most residents may remember the presentation of Canadian Maple Leafs at the Centennial Park in October that saw 128 flags hoisted up in remembrance of fallen Canadian soldiers. It’s happening again this year in conjunction with the Veterans Voices of Canada (VVC), the group that originally organized the ceremony in Sylvan Lake.
Each flag represents 1,000 fallen Canadian veterans, explained Allan Cameron, VVC executive director. “I realized that this was something we have to do more off,” explained Cameron of the initiative.
Set for Oct. 1 at 12 p.m. the ceremony is meant to be conducted at the same time as the other communities hosting it. “The flags themselves will be unfurled at the same moment across Canada.”
The other communities hosting the event besides Sylvan Lake and Ponoka are Edson, Ottawa and Kingston, Ont.; Charlottetown, P.E.I.; Vernon, B.C. and Riverview, N.B.
“It’s only going to grow,” says Cameron of future plans.
Helping with the program is the Ponoka Legion. Member Stan Orlesky says there is an opportunity to sponsor the flags with a special plaque and the name of a loved one who died in the line of service. Sponsors will be able to take home the plaque and flag after they are taken down sometime after Remembrance Day.
Orlesky says half of the proceeds of the plaque sponsorship goes to a local group, in this case the Ponoka Air Cadets, and the other half goes to VVC to continue the program. His hope is that all flags will be sponsored.
Rather than remembering only on Remembrance Day, Orlesky suggests this gives people a chance to use the whole month of October, and some of November as a chance to remember. He feels the Royal Canadian Legion is the right organization to do the job.
For more information call the Ponoka Legion at: 403-783-4076.
The Legion is also hosting a cemetery decoration day set for the morning of Sept. 18 at the Forest Home Cemetery. Members will be decorating veterans’ grave sites and then having a community luncheon. Residents are welcome to join.