Remembering those who served

    Remembering those who served Lest We Forget_B1J8293

    Veteran Sgt. Maxine McKellar, retired, salutes the cenotaph during the 2016 Remembrance Day Ceremony Nov. 11. Photo by Jeremy Broadfield

    The city is ready to lead the community in the annual act of Remembrance this Nov. 11.
    “I think it’s important for the community to show their respect and give remembrance to our citizens who have laid down their lives for us to have the freedoms that we have today,” said City of Chestermere Events Coordinator Nancie Huneault.
    The ceremony will follow the usual format with the pre-service military march across the bridge leading into the marching on of the colours and the official start of the ceremony.
    At 11 a.m. the Last Post will be played followed two minutes of silence to remember those who have been lost in the service of Canada.
    Following the moment of silence, A student from Chestermere High School will recite the Act of Remembrance.
    This will be followed by statements from both Chestermere-Rocky View MLA Leela Aheer and Chestermere’s newly elected Mayor, Marshall Chalmers.
    Chalmers, who is looking forward to this first chance to stand with the community since being elected, has a personal connection to Remembrance Day.
    “I, like so many others, have had relatives who served during various conflicts and gave their lives so we could be a free nation.
    “It is important to me, on Remembrance Day especially, that we honour their service and pay our respects for their sacrifice,” he said.
    The laying of the wreaths will follow the speeches.
    “Right now, we have 21 wreaths that will be laid,” said Huneault.
    This is about average for the ceremony in Chestermere.
    Huneault who has been planning the annual ceremony for several years said that she really likes how the community comes together to remember.
    “The community…wants to celebrate veterans that have been lost and to celebrate veterans that are here today,” she said.
    “It really unites the community and I think that’s important,” said Huneault.
    She has been noticing that each year there are more veterans in attendance at the service.
    “That speaks volumes,” she said, “that tells us as a community that it is something that is key for this community.”
    In addition to more and more veterans attending, the service brings out families to pay their respects to those who have served.
    “I see a lot of families come out and I think that’s really important,” she said.
    She said this shows the next generation the importance of showing respect and remembering our history.
    Mayor Chalmers agrees with the importance of families attending the ceremony.
    “It’s very important that the community as a whole comes together to show respect to those who gave their lives for our freedom.
    “It’s also a way to continually educate our young people, those who have not experienced conflict personally, to help them understand the cost of a free society,” he said.
    Huneault is expects the trend of more people attending to continue but said that the weather will play a big part in the attendance on Nov. 11.
    With the recent cold and snow, Huneault said she does have some contingencies planned should Remembrance Day be as cold.
    “Dress warm,” she said.
    The ceremony will be shortened and the Chestermere High School band will be unable to play if the weather is too cold.
    “I’m not sure if the RCMP will march across the bridge, that’s another…item that might be changed,” she said.
    That decision would be left up to Staff Sgt. Mark Wielgosz.