100 Mile House turned out in force to mark Remembrance Day with over 400 people attending the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 260’s Ceremony.
The 100 Mile House Community Hall was at capacity with a dozen people standing outside by the cenotaph. Legion vice-president Stan Leschert said it was gratifying to see that turnout after two years of drive-by ceremonies.
“We were lucky enough to get into the community hall and that made the day go so much better,” Leschert said. “We had a capacity crowd with overflow, so hopefully next year we can get a bigger place. It all worked out incredibly.”
In attendance were members of the Legion, 100 Mile House RCMP, 100 Mile Fire Rescue, the Lone Butte Fire Department, the 2887 Rocky Mountain Rangers Royal Canadian Army Cadets and the 100 Mile House Canadian Ranger Patrol.
After a brief parade in front of the Cenotaph, the ceremony moved into the community hall for the national anthem and two minutes of silence. Afterward Hillside Community Church pastor and retired RCMP Cpl. Clint Lange shared a few words on the importance of Remembrance Day.
“Today we remember the terrible price that was paid by our veterans to secure our freedoms. We gather here together as a community to honour the veterans who fought and died for our benefit, lest we forget,” Lange said. “It’s easy for us to forget how lucky we are we live in a nation where we can express our opinions and speak out against injustice without being sent to prison.”
Lange noted that sadly armed conflict between nations continues to this day. War is a terrible thing he said and too often results from people in power trying to exert control to benefit themselves at the expense of others.
“The victory of freedom over tyranny is never easy. It’s always been won through the sacrifice of those who love their country and was willing to fight for a cause greater than themselves,” Lange said.
Mayor Maureen Pinkney, who laid a wreath on behalf of the District of 100 Mile House, said she thought the ceremony went well. Pinkney said it was important to remember all the veterans who have sacrificed to give us the freedoms we enjoy today.
“It’s a very special event. I have had a lot of family in wars and I have a cousin now who is still fighting. It’s important we remember and always do this,” Pinkney said. “It’s easy to not really deeply remember so when we have an event like this where we can really remember is amazing.”
After the ceremony, the Legion hosted an open house and lunch. It marked the first time in months the Legion has been opened following renovations, licensing disputes and the restructuring of leadership.
Throughout the process, Leschert said he’s been amazed by the support and patience of the community. While the open house went well, he said there is still some work to be done to reopen full-time.
“Right now we’re doing Fridays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” Leschert said. “The meat draw is going to be back and we have our lotteries running. There are a few more details to iron out but as soon we’re able to we want to get back to full operation.”
Leschert said the future of the Legion in 100 Mile House is bright and anyone is welcome to join.