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.

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.”

On Nov. 11, Remembrance Day ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. in the Gibraltar Room and will be followed by a march to the cenotaph at City Hall.

The ceremony at the cenotaph will begin at 10:45 a.m. where numerous community groups will be invited to lay wreaths in the memory of the fallen at the cenotaph.

A minute of silence will be held at 11 a.m.

After the ceremonies, the public is invited to the Royal Canadian Legion, Br. 139 for fellowship and comradeship, says Keener.

“Come down and thank a veteran or share stories of family if they have served or are past members who are no longer with us.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
OUR HOMETOWN: Lifelong learning

Lake City Secondary School principal Craig Munroe got his first teaching job in Williams Lake

Mayor Walt Cobb waves from atop a tractor as he turns onto Oliver Street in the Daybreak Rotary’s annual Stampede Parade. Patrick Davies photo.
Lack of funding, volunteers has Daybreak Rotary bowing out of Williams Lake Stampede parade

Club learned this week it won’t be receiving local government funding, for the second year in a row

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

Williams Lake’s Brock Hoyer films a segment of the newly-released The Way Home in the city of Revelstoke. (Ryen Dunford photo)
Brock Hoyer stars in new snowbike film: The Way Home

The film is completely free and was released on YouTube on Jan. 22, 2021

The body of Kenneth Seymour Michell was discovered Jan. 14, 2021, behind a Williams Lake business a day after he was released by a judge on conditions. (Photo submitted)
Family looks for answers after Indigenous man dies by suicide following release from custody

System does not care about Indigenous peoples, says First Nations Leadership Council

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

Interior Health officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Creekside Landing in Vernon on Jan. 3, which was followed by the first death from the virus 10 days later. (Kaigo photo)
COVID outbreak over at Vernon care home

Creekside Landing cleared of coronavirus, despite additional death in last day

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read