The Pipes and Drums of Edmonton Transit help lead the march to the Ponoka Legion on Remembrance Day.

Legion packed during Remembrance Day ceremony

Members of the community packed the Ponoka Legion, Branch 66, on Remembrance Day to honour the lives of soldiers who fought for Canada.

Members of the community packed the Ponoka Legion, Branch 66, on Remembrance Day to honour the lives of soldiers who fought for Canada.

To start the ceremony, members of the Legion, RCMP, veterans and other community groups braved the wintry weather to march from the Ponoka County office to the Legion. Bringing the solemn music of drums and bagpipes were members of the Pipes and Drums of Edmonton Transit.

Pilot Drew Watson conducted a flyover with his 1934 Harvard to honour Ponoka’s fallen soldiers and support from the community was strong with many community groups being represented during the laying of the wreaths.

Legion chaplain Reverend Len Eichler gave an impassioned speech with words of caution directed at Canada’s leaders.

Eichler was deeply moved by the funeral of Cpl. Nathan Cirrilo in Hamilton, Ont. Cirrilo’s son Marcus attended the funeral, which made a lasting impression on Eichler.

“He’s (Marcus) wearing a shirt that seems several sizes too big for his neck and a hat that is definitely too large for his head. It’s the cap that his father wore just a few days ago,” said Eichler.

He suggests the world around Canadians has become confusing as he feels the country should be able to celebrate freedom of all religions and cultures. Many people came to Canada seeking freedom to worship any religion.

“They were free to worship. They were free not to worship . . . This is Canada but things are changing folks,” said Eichler.

The efforts of veterans from past wars are being forgotten with feelings of fear and threatening acts but Eichler does not want to forget the sacrifices made. Many who returned suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder and struggled to find their way into society.

“These are the freedoms our veterans died for,” he said.

Eichler says active soldiers and veterans must now be careful with what they wear in order not to be targeted, which is adding to the fear and worry over safety in Canada. He suggests there is only so much freedom to go around.

“I don’t want anymore rights and freedoms. Freedoms are like a pie in the holy sky, there’s only so much to give,” he added. “By demanding a bigger slice for myself I am diminishing that which is left for my fellow citizens.”

With worries of terrorist acts inside Canada, Eichler feels Prime Minister Stephen Harper and policy makers must be cautious in upcoming days.

“We hope they are going to put in new legislation to give us more security but they have to be careful not to infringe on our liberties,” said Eichler.

After the ceremony, the pipe band played several songs before a large lunch.


Just Posted

Snow flies at Ponoka Legion’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony

Despite the chilly weather, 128 Maple Leaf flags were raised at Ponoka’s Centennial Park

Ron Orr to return for another run as MLA

Lacombe-Ponoka UCP contest won by incumbent MLA

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Alberta harvest on hold due to poor weather conditions

Central Alberta farmers among those waiting for better temperatures to finish combining

Pair arrested in Ponoka with several weapons, face 98 charges

Two men nabbed after early morning suspicious vehicle reported, stolen weapons found

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

UPDATED: Bill Cosby gets 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault

Judge also declared the disgraced comedian a ‘sexually violent predator’

U.S. worker charged after video shows him spitting on customer’s pizza

Jaylon Kerley of Detroit is charged with a felony count of food law violations

Robbery report at outlet mall turns out to be fake: police

Leduc RCMP respond to weapons complaint at premium outlet collection mall

Canada aiming for the moon, and beyond, with new space technology efforts

With an eye on future lunar exploration, Canada’s space agency is calling on companies to present their ideas for everything from moon-rover power systems to innovative mineral prospecting techniques.

New Brunswick Premier meets with lieutenant-governor as Tories, Liberals vie for power

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said the only other leader he had spoken with since results came in was Green Leader David Coon.

Trudeau looks to restart Canada’s UN charm offensive in New York City

Freeland says the question of job retraining in the 21st century — and the uncertainty that surrounds it — is the federal government’s central preoccupation.

Calgary mayor seeks person who leaked details of closed-door Olympic meeting

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says he will ask the city’s integrity commissioner to investigate a leak of details from an in-camera council meeting.

Most Read