Remembrance Day marked in Ponoka

Decades have passed since the First and Second World Wars and the Korean Conflict, yet with each passing year the world continues to ring

Helen Churchill

Decades have passed since the First and Second World Wars and the Korean Conflict, yet with each passing year the world continues to ring with the words We Will Remember.

The Ponoka Royal Canadian Legion held A Remembrance Day Assembly, beginning with a procession marching to its front doors, with some 500 people in attendance.

“We gathered here to remember the men and women of our armed forces. And this is happening all over the world,” said Chaplin Len Eichler.

Spanning history and the present, Canadian Armed Forces have been a worldwide entity to honour and treasure, says Eichler. Across the globe, other forces or militants haven’t always been revered with the same respect, as they aren’t seen as a sign of safety in every country.

“And so, we remember out veterans today, we need them more than ever before,” said Eichler.

Feelings of remembrance aren’t pigeonholed to one day; instead they extend over the year. For Eichler they’re also a big part of Thanksgiving as well.

This year, as he looked around the table at his family, he realized the comforts, rights and opportunities they’ve been afforded. “We tend to forget how dearly these rights were bought.”

As Eichler said goodbye to his family that evening, after family warmth and a delicious turkey meal, he bade his grandchildren farewell and a safe drive home — grandchild of fighting age — and the sacrifices made by the veterans washed over him once again.

“They didn’t get to say goodbye in a comfortable home. They said goodbye at train stations, airports and seaports, to the young wives, to their sweethearts . . . To the children too young to realize why Daddy was going away,” he told the crowd, bringing tears to many eyes.

More than a dozen wreaths were laid in commemoration for the brave Canadian men and women of war and conflict.

Veterans, Legion members and several others from the community all took the time to settle on at the cenotaph erected inside the Legion before stepping back to once again pay their respects and say thanks.

The colour party and procession also included all manner of thankful people, including Brooklyn Ell, a five-year-old Sparks representative.

She’s one in the next generation coming onto the knowledge of what Remembrance Day is about and the sacrifices that were made to create the world she knows.

Ponoka’s community Remembrance Day ceremony, complete with singing of several hymns, The Last Post, and the minute of silence, renewed a vigil to remember the sacrifices made and lives lost for Canada.


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