An attentive crowd gathered inside the 100 Mile Community Hall to pay tribute to the sacrifices of Canada’s fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day.
“It’s a chilly morning but we appreciate everyone who decided to attend our Remembrance Day ceremony,” said Ken Mills, the event’s master of ceremonies. “This time of year, we pay our deepest respects to the veterans who have fallen in the service of our nation and those who are still serving in Canadian Forces and the RCMP.”
Following the gathering’s opening remarks, usual Remembrance Day traditions took place – a moment of silence, a bagpipe performance of Flowers of The Forest, speeches and the laying of wreaths — this year’s ceremony also included performances by the Eclectica Choir.
“The choir always does a great job,” said Mills. “We enjoyed having them there.”
The performance featured an original piece written by local composer, Donna Forward-Houriet titled And The Poppies Grow. Forward-Houriet said the song is a modern take on In Flanders Field – focused on younger generations.
“The young are asking questions of war throughout the lands. If only they would listen, our world might stand a chance.”
“As a writer, you get the joy of people observing your music,” said Forward-Houriet. “I was impressed, the community hall was packed for today’s ceremony.”
Forward-Houriet said Remembrance Day is important because it is a chance to honour those who fought for us and to be thankful for the freedom we have today. She too has family members who served in the war.
“It was great getting to perform in front of a crowd like that,” said Forward-Houriet.
Considering the people who spilled out onto the sidewalk, roughly 500 people were in attendance for the ceremony, according to Mills.
“I think the ceremony went extremely well,” said Mills. “It was a great turnout and we are incredibly happy with it. Following the ceremony, the Legion’s luncheon turned out really well, as well.”
97-year-old Alan McAninch was among those in attendance for the ceremony. McAninch served during the Second World War as part of the airforce.
“It was a good ceremony down there today,” said McAninch.
McAninch didn’t speak much about his experiences in the war, but rather, took the time to remember the friends he lost during the war.
“You will never forget it, you know,” said McAninch. “You are always going to feel sad for the ones we lost.”
This Remembrance Day was Daniel Martin’s first time observing a ceremony in 100 Mile House.
“I thought it was very nice,” said Martin. “My mother and father both fought during the Second World War.”
Mills said Remembrance Day is a special day for many people, thanking those who attended the ceremony, the volunteers who helped put the ceremony together and the local organizations for their donations.