Service highlights importance to remember

Second World War Veteran George Bennett lays a wreath at the ceremony on behalf of the Royal Canadian Air Force and war dead. Behind him is Legion member Tony Belli.
The only two remaining local Second World War Veterans attended the ceremony. Left-right are Frank Pratt and George Bennett.
High Prairie Royal Canadian Legion president Don Ebbett presided over the service and ceremony.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Every year at the Remembrance Day ceremony, High Prairie Royal Canadian Legion president Don Ebbett reminds everyone a soldier’s greatest fear is people will forget.
Across the country and locally, people did not forget as several ceremonies were held to honour the men and women who have served our nation, including High Prairie.
The service began with singing O Canada, playing of The Last Post, two minutes of silence, playing of Lament and Reveille.
“The two minutes may seem like an eternity but it’s a pittance of time,” said Ebbett.
Ebbett also read the Act of Remembrance before recognizing the 30 people who did not return from the two world wars. [One other has since been discovered and will be added this year]. He urged everyone to read their stories [their photos and plaques are hung on the walls of the Legion Hall] with particular notice to how young many were.
Ebbett then recognized the 100th year of the poppy, how it became a symbol to raise money for the Legion and Veterans, and their families.
Town of High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk extended greetings from the town.
“Today is a day for the people of our wonderful community to join with all Canadians to remember the men and women who have served and sacrificed so much for our country and to salute those who continue to serve Canada today,” Panasiuk said.
“When I look at the Wall of Honour here at the Legion, it is shocking to see how many people this small community lost during [the First World War and Second World War]. These Veterans have set the community spirit that exists in our community today. I am always pleasantly surprised to see how this community comes together to help people in need.”
He took the time to allude to the difficulties caused by the COVID pamdemic.
“However. . .the hardships our Veterans and their families had to endure, it makes our complaints seem minor.
“On behalf of the Town of High Prairie, I want to thank the Veterans past and present for the sacrifices they have made for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today.”
Anne Stewart brought greetings from Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn, who was attending another service and unable to attend locally.
Rehn first noted Alberta had one of the highest enlistment rates in Canada in the First World War.
“But it not end there,” read Stewart. “Canadian soldiers have continued to make sacrifices for our freedom. They continued to stand for our nation through World War II, the Cold War, the Afghanistan War, invasion of Iraq, and many more.”
Rehn thanked all for their service.
“May we never forget our fallen brothers and sisters and continues to acknowledge their services. Lest We Forget. God bless every Veteran.”
Legion Chaplain Pat Duffin gave the Benediction.
“Remember our God through all our blessings flow,” he said.
“Comfort the grieving. Give direction to us that honours and pleases You. May our proceedings be a comfort to them [the grieving].
“Guide those who have lost their way and lost hope.”
And, like everyone, Pastor Duffin reminded everyone to never forget.
“When we forget we become ungrateful. When we forget we take our abundance for granted. Unfortuantely, it is human nature to forget. Therefore, it is one of the most compelling reasons that we continue to observe Remembrance Day. We must remember.”
Pastor Duffin also asked people to appreciate the efforts of those before us and the trust bequeathed to us.
“We seize hold of that torch passed to us by forgiving hands. . .then we pass it on to those who follow. That would be the ultimate testament of our gratitude.”
And to remember the Word of God.
“We were called upon to love one another, not hurt one another.”
Ebbett read the Remembrance Day award-winning poem from East Prairie Metis Settlement resident [then in Grade 6] Lilli Haggerty, before announcements, the reciting of In Flanders Fields and singing of God Save the Queen.
Wreaths were laid to conclude the ceremony.
The service was live-streamed by South Peace News. Go to southpeacenews.com to watch.
Ebbert and Panasiuk both recognized and thanked South Peace News for broadcasting the service.
“Thanks to the Legion and South Peace News for coming up with a way that the community can still participate in this Remembrance Day,” said Panasiuk.
“It is important that the community have the opportunity to honour our Veterans that sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms that we enjoy,” he concluded.
The service has been streamed for several years

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