“Our veterans of yesterday and today are the heroes among us” – The Free Press
The bells rang, tears flowed and the sound of a trumpet passed through St. Margaret’s Cemetery Thursday morning for the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Fernie.
The service was by invitation only due to limitations related to COVID-19. Over 50 people attended, some wearing full service uniforms, others simply dressed warmly for the late fall cold, and almost all sported the red poppy on their chest, symbolizing their memory of the many Canadians. who gave their lives or suffered because of in the war.
The ceremony began around 10:30 a.m. with a motorcade to the cemetery from the Legion Branch 36 building in Fernie. The gathering then gathered among the gravestones of World War I veterans. Participants lined up, some wearing wreaths, led by 90-year-old veteran Jock Anderson and Silver Cross mother Beverley Skaalrud. They faced the Veterans Cenotaph.
Fernie’s local Karl Schomann sang O’Canada, which was followed by The Last Post’s trumpet played over loudspeakers.
Fernie Legion Chaplain Reverend Andrea Brennan began her introductory speech by thanking loved ones who are no longer with us.
“To remember the decades and generations and generations of those who came before us, those who died in battle, those who returned with irrevocable damage,” she said, adding that “we are finally learning how better support our veterans “. who come back. Services are available for those who need them, she said.
âI had hoped in my lifetime that we wouldn’t see another generation of veterans come forward, and yet that turned out to be wrong. And so to those who continue to put themselves forward for this country, thank you. “
The clock had yet to strike 11 hours after his speech, so Schomann returned to the mic to sing the Irish folk song The Green Fields of France.
About a minute after finishing, at 11 a.m., the bells of Sainte-Famille parish began to ring for the two-minute silence. Then, Piper’s Lament and Reveille was played over the speakers.
Shortly thereafter, the speeches resumed with Brennan, beginning with an acknowledgment of the land for the Ktunaxa and MÃ©tis peoples, words of love from the Gospel of John, and a prayer.
Jennifer Cronin, Former Fernie Legion President and Remembrance Day Master of Ceremonies, then spoke.
She spoke of the exuberant youth, the bravado, the urge to travel and the excitement of soldiers enlisting first with their friends before leaving home for the first time. They were so young, she said, and excited for the adventures to come.
âThey didn’t know what to expect. As the comrades fell, so did the exuberance. And late that night, in a cold, damp bunker, they became men, sitting alone with their thoughts. Thoughts of home and family. Afraid of never seeing them again. The lover they left behind. All those friends they had found and lost along the way. Afraid, alone and scared, âCronin said.
Thousands of miles away, their families prayed for their safe return, she said. The story is the same for all veterans across space and time.
âOur veterans past and present are the heroes among us. It is incumbent on all of us to not only remember those who came before us, but also to support our veterans who continue to quietly serve our country every day, âsaid Cronin, whose Father Kenneth Carlson served in World War II. global. He has been proud of his service throughout his life, she said.
After the speeches, participants laid their wreaths on the Veterans Cenotaph. The mother of the Silver Cross, Beverley Skaalrud, was the first to do so.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of: the Government of Canada; the Government of British Columbia; the East Kootenay Regional District; the town of Fernie; the Tobacco Plains Indian Band; the Royal Canadian Legion; the Royal Canadian Navy; the Canadian Armed Forces; the Royal Canadian Air Force; veterans of Afghanistan; Korean veterans; the RCMP; regional firefighters; preservatives; Elk Valley Healthcare Professionals. Several more then followed with more crowns.
Reginald LafreniÃ¨re, who had a long career in the military and is a Sergeant-at-Arms in the Legion, stood at the cenotaph to help people place their wreaths.
âRemembrance Day should never be forgotten by anyone,â he said in a previous interview.
âIt is always a time to remember our ancestors who served our freedom.
The ceremony ended with Schomann singing God Save the Queen.