The Ponoka Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 66, was full with standing room only with those who came out to honour the sacrifice of Canada’s fallen during the legion’s Remembrance Day service Nov. 11.
Although the customary honours were observed during the ceremony, the overall message was about making remembrance personal and anything but routine.
In his homily, Pastor Robert McArthur said we honour the sacrifice of those who gave their lives by the actions we take because of our remembrance.
The ceremony began with the marching in of the colours, followed by the singing of O Canada and The Last Post reveille and two minutes of silence.
A land acknowledgement was given by Dr. Wilton Littlechild.
Littlechild said Maskwacis honoured 71 Indigenous veterans on Nov. 8, Indigenous Veterans Day.
Littlechild himself served in the medical core and at one time, was part of the honour guard for the late Queen Elizabeth.
“We’re all Treaty people,” said Littlechild, welcoming all to Treaty 6 territory in “peace and friendship.”
Barb Olsen read the names of the legion members who had passed away in the past year.
McArthur spoke about how a donation to Canadian Fallen Heroes led to his family receiving a plaque memorializing local veteran Willard Lawrence Doran. Doran enlisted in 1942 and was killed in action in a night raid over Berlin in 1944. He was 21 years old.
The McArthurs later presented the plaque to Doran’s nephew.
Events of history are someone else’s story, but when we practice true remembrance, that memory belongs to us, McArthur said.
He added remembrance is learning who we are in relation to the past and making that connection between the generations.
Nothing of value have ever come about without struggle, and “things remembered do not die,” he said.
Several dignitaries and individuals representing local organizations placed wreaths. At the end of the service, wreaths were placed on the legion’s cenotaph outside.