The Lest We Forget Flag is flying at the Williams Lake City Hall where the Remembrance Day ceremonies will take place at the cenotaph on Nov. 11. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo.

Remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on Nov. 11 this year

Indoor ceremonies start at 10 a.m. at the Gibralter Room and 10:45 a.m. at the cenotaph

Remembrance Day is as important today as it was when it was first declared in 1931, says Gordon Keener, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 139 president.

“It’s the same as it has always been: to remember our fallen comrades who are no longer with us and those who are serving, but it is mainly for those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” he says.

Nov. 11 was declared Remembrance Day in 1931 by the federal government to honour the memory of fallen soldiers.

“What has happened in the past affects every facet of our lives today,” says Vivian MacNeil, first vice president of the local legion.

“In Canada, we are lucky that we have all the freedoms that we do because of the men and women who sacrificed their lives to make sure we were free and had democracy,” she says.

“Remembrance Day is not so much about today. Remembrance says it all because we are remembering.”

Keener points to wars in the past as lessons for today.

“The First World War was supposed to be the war to end all wars. It didn’t happen.”

He mentions the Second World War, the Korean War, Afghanistan, and even the Yugoslavian Civil War as all containing keys to preventing war in the future.

“We probably will never see the utopian world in my lifetime, but that is the philosophy we strive for — so we can live in an open, free and democratic society.”

Keener served with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a peacekeeper in Cyprus in 1988.

“To my way of thinking, Canada has always been at the forefront of peacekeeping and I think that is Canada’s main role in the world is to lead the way in peace and that should be our goal,” says MacNeil.

While Williams Lake and the Cariboo seem far removed from war, both legion members say it’s important to remember that local men and women have served in the military and that even ordinary Canadians have a role to play.

“We’re representative of everything across Canada and when we show them that we care about what happens to our veterans and what is still happening we are representing the rest of Canada, because we are ordinary Canadians,” says MacNeil.

“It’s to honour the people on the wall,” says Keener, pointing to a wall at the legion where a number of photographs picturing members of the community who have served or are serving hang.

“All young guys. We no longer have any First World War veterans, we have some actual Second World War veterans and now we have veterans from Afghanistan. We have to honour these people and we have to remember those who never came back.”

Keener says there are two ways people can support and remember veterans.

“The first is to support the poppy campaign for the veterans who did survive and to wear them in remembrance of those who have fallen.

“Secondly, is to take part in the Remembrance Day ceremonies because it’s just a couple of hours of your day to partake and participate in remembrance for those who have fallen.”

Just Posted

Morning Jan. 15: slippery conditions with fog on area Highways

The roads and weather for the South Cariboo

South Cariboo photo contest; $100 Chamber Bucks prize

Help us get photos for our tourism publications

Joel Patsey of the Wranglers is rearing for chance in Top Prospects Game

“I’ve been working all season to get this opportunity,” said Patsey. “I’m happy that it happened.”

Crafter’s Market opens in downtown 100 Mile House

Indoor, year-round spaces available for locally-made products

Showcasing moods and mediums

Local artist Neil Pinkett offers a muted-colour view of the world

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Singer of the Cranberries dead at 46

Her publicist says Dolores O’Riordan died suddenly Monday in London. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

Most Read