LEST WE FORGET: Remembrance Day services Nov. 11

Williams Lake First Nation and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 hosting ceremonies

When Williams Lake First Nation hosts its annual Remembrance Day ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11, a new cenotaph will be part of the backdrop.

WLFN Coun. Rick Gilbert was tasked with having the cenotaph made locally and installed next to a ‘Lest we forget’ cross already on site near the community’s newer cemetery.

There is a plaque on the front listing the names of Secwépemc veterans from his community. They are Johnny Alphonse, Louie Bates, Everett Dan, George Gilbert, Johnny Grinder, Andrew Meshue, Johnny Moore, William Moore, Emery Philbrick, William Sellars, Douglas Soich, Hector (Abbey) Vedan and Jim Wycotte.

The words ‘All gave some, some gave all,’ are inscribed along the top of the plaque with the names and on the bottom is the Secwépemc word for thank you, ‘kukstsemc.’

On top there is a mounted army helmet Gilbert purchased online.

“I found several online and bid on one for quite a reasonable price. Everyone thinks it is really nice. It’s a real one and was probably used by someone in the military,” he said.

There is room on the other sides of the monument to install plaques and Gilbert said the hope is to one day include the names of all Secwépemc veterans who served in wars.

WLFN Coun. Shawna Philbrick and events co-ordinator Janet Smith are co-ordinating the ceremony this year and said it will be an opportunity for elders and community members to gather and remember lost ones.

“We will sing ‘O Canada,’ play the ‘Last Post,’ have a moment of silence, and share some stories,” Philbrick said, adding the event also sees people visiting graves in the cemetery to pay their respects.

RCMP liaison Const. Adam Hildebrand will attend, dressed in his red surge. The event will also be live streamed on the community’s Facebook page and there will be refreshments including hot chocolate, coffee and donuts served afterwards.

In Williams Lake, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 is hosting Remembrance Day services at the Cenotaph outside city hall, starting at 10:45 a.m.

The public is not encouraged to attend in person due to the pandemic, but rather view the services live online on the Williams Lake Tribune’s Facebook page, which will also be shared to Branch 139’s Facebook page.

READ MORE: Legion Branch 139 to host scaled back Remembrance Day services in Williams Lake


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