Decoration Day honours veterans

Hundreds of Canadian flags marked the graves in the Ponoka Cemetery of the many Canadian soldiers who served in past wars.

  • Aug. 27, 2008 3:00 p.m.

Rose Stoddart

Hundreds of Canadian flags marked the graves in the Ponoka Cemetery of the many Canadian soldiers who served in past wars.

The flags were just one way that the Ponoka Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion honoured these veterans on Aug. 24.

There are approximately 500 veterans in the Ponoka Cemetery and about 299 veterans buried in the field of honour. The flags were placed on the gravestones in the early morning by volunteers and were removed before the sun set in the evening.

At 1 p.m. members of the Legion marched to the centre of the cemetery and took their stand. The special service was conducted by Reverend Brian Melbourne of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Ponoka.

Two wreaths were also placed as an act of respect and remembrance.

Near the end of the service a solemn poem was read calling all to honour these veterans.

“They shall grow not old as we that are left, grow old. Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”

Organizer of Decoration Day, Verlea Mack, was pleased with the order and events of the service and was glad that Melbourne led the ceremony.

“It went very well,” said Mack. “The service was very good and Reverend Melbourne did a great job.”

Mack believes that it is important to honour those veterans that have fought in the wars and to show appreciation for all they have stood for and done for the country.

“We feel that we should remember those that fought and those that have given their life so that we could have our freedom,” she said.

Ann Ferguson remembered those that she knew and those that she respected for serving their country during the wars, including her husband Bill. Ferguson enjoyed the service and believes that events like this one is important for everyone.

“I think it’s a wonderful occasion to remember all of the boys who risked their own safety and put their heart into this country,” said Ferguson. “It’s important to remember those that served and to continue to pray for the countries that are experiencing war and the people serving overseas.”

Reta Bailey also remembered people that were close to her. Bailey’s two brothers served in the Second World War and her father served the country in the First World War.

Bailey was glad that she attended the service and feels that it is a positive time for anyone to attend.

“It’s great to have a service to remember the armed forces,” said Bailey. “They did a lot for us, we have our freedom and we should always remember that.”

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