Time taken to remember sacrifices

Royal Canadian Legion president Don Ebbett, left, presided over the ceremony. On the right is Legion Chaplain Pat Duffin.

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

High Prairie will never forget the sacrifices of its war heroes, no matter what the circumstances.

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic limited attendance at this year’s ceremony. The usual 300-400 crowd was limited to 50 invited guests, but thanks to some live streaming by South Peace News, many others were able to watch.

As usual, Royal Canadian Legion president Don Ebbett presided over the ceremony. He first asked all Veterans in attendance to stand for applause.

Ebbett read the names of the Veterans lost during the last year – Gordon Rumley and Robert Frowley – before reading the names of all 29 Fallen Heroes, those who did not come home from the First World War and Second World War.

Later, special mention was given to High Prairie’s two remaining Second World War Veterans: Alvin Meneice and George Bennett.

The singing of O Canada, The last Post, Two Minutes of Silence and Reveille followed.

Ebbett welcomed everyone to the service noting it was important to hold the service every year.

“Adapt and overcome which we have done,” he said.

He added he visited schools virtually to continue the tradition of teaching students to remember.

“That’s a good thing,” he said.

He also alluded to the two No Stone Left Alone ceremonies at Driftpile Nov. 5 and High Prairie Nov. 7.

“We can’t forget. Some [branches] are having no service and that’s unfortunate. We must not forget.”

High Prairie RCMP S/Sgt. Warren Wright read a statement from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I wish to thank our Veterans for their service, dedication, and sacrifice on behalf of our country.

“Canada has always answered the call to defend our citizens and peoples around the world when the cause was just and good.”

On behalf of Trudeau, Wright noted two million Canadians have fought in various wars.

“…show that we will not stand silent when humanity is confronted with violent aggression or hatred.

“Let us never forget the legacy left by our brave women and men who, unified in their resistance against the scourge of injustice, bestowed upon us the liberties and peaceful prosperity that we hold dear,” he added.

In his address, Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn said it was important to take the time to honour Veterans.

He also noted it was the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

“Honour those who serve and continue to serve,” said Rehn, adding many didn’t come home.

“Today is a somber day to reflect on their sacrifices…protect our life and Canadian values.

“I will always wear my poppy proudly.”

Legion Chaplain Pat Duffin presided over a short service. He read from Scripture before noting that a prayer was included in O Canada.

“God keep our land glorious and free. It’s a wonderful prayer. Who can better keep our land than God?”

He gave thanks that we, as Canadians, live in a land of plenty and that we love and care for one another.

“We claim perhaps not spiritual perfection but spiritual progress.

“God keep our land glorious and fee. Amen!”

Ebbett read In Flanders Fields before wreaths were laid.

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