As the sound of bagpipes reverberated through Exhibition Park, it was a day to come together and remember those who served and continue to serve our nation.
“We need to honour those people that helped give us the freedom we have today,” said Ladies Auxilary District Six Commander Lynda Bly. “All of these people have put their life on the line somehow.”
The firing of the cannon, the marching of our veterans and the placing of the wreaths.
There are so many special moments that form, for many, one of the most significant days of the year.
“These people still get together. The ones who served, with the younger generations and share their stories,” said Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman. “So I think telling our story, sharing that legacy and passing it on to the future generations is a big part of what today is.”
While participation in Remembrance Day ceremonies is generally high, those who work closely with the city’s legion have noticed an increase in support this year.
“This year I’ve noticed so many poppies around,” said Bly. “With the increase in poppy sales alone, we’ve increased our sales by about four thousand dollars in donations. People are wearing poppies all over the place, it’s wonderful to see.”
For some the day is cathartic. For others, the memories of lost loved ones is still difficult to face.
“My father was a veteran,” said Bly. “He passed away six years ago and I was president of LA here in Lethbridge at the time and the first Remembrance Day I had to sit out and watch those veterans come in without my father – that was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do.”
Sentiments echoed by a WWII veteran in attendance.
“It brings back memories of all your buddies that aren’t here, that paid the supreme sacrifice,” said Bill Craik.
Hundreds paid their respects at another service outside city hall.
Which included a fly over by 429 squadron from Trenton Ontario. The rumble of the Royal Canadian Air Force C-17 Globemaster could be heard throughout the downtown core.
“They come out as often as they can to Lethbridge on Remembrance Day, and they have the freedom of the skies,” said Spearman.
Each Remembrance Day, there is much to see and hear, but the message remains simple: Lest we forget.