Canada’s military ‘stands on guard for us,’ says MP

War veterans and those who lost their lives, and peacekeepers who fought for Canada, were honoured at Remembrance Day services

The Royal Canadian Legion colour guard parades the flags off stage during the Remembrance Day service at the Stettler Performing Arts Centre last Sunday.

War veterans and those who lost their lives, and peacekeepers who fought for Canada, were honoured at Remembrance Day services in Stettler on Sunday.

“Our Canadian military has left us a wonderful country, full of opportunities and freedoms we often take for granted,” said Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson.

As the guest speaker, Sorenson shared his experiences in the war zones in Afghanistan and his visit to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial as a representative of the Canadian government a few years ago.

“Our military continues to stand on guard for all of us,” he said.

Sorenson said he was “touched” as he participated in special ceremonies in France and Belgium in 2008 as chair of the House of Commons standing committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development as part of the team with Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

“Canada’s military — our veterans of the past and future — have won and continue to secure our freedom to live in a democracy under the rule of law,” he said.

“And we try to share our blessings with other peoples in the world. We are very prosperous and lucky to be living here.

“And we have been and continue to be free because of the veterans we are remembering today.”

Canada remains willing to engage in combat and peacekeeping operations to protect human rights, freedom and justice throughout the world, he said.

Local loved ones were remembered as 69 wreaths were laid by several families, organizations, municipal officials and Legion members.

Music was provided by Dave Goodwin, who sang a song he wrote — He’ll Be Coming Home — accompanied by his wife Barbara Lynn on piano.

Elaine Hennel was the pianist during the service, while Marvyn Harris was the bugler.

As a special honour during the service, the Legion presented life memberships to President Murray Wahlund and Rosalind LaRose.

While many Legion branches struggle to survive with aging and dying members, the local president said the Stettler branch remains committed to the long-term.

“As long as the Legion is open, we will always have a Remembrance Day service,” Wahlund said.

In the invocation, Dean Ross of Stettler Funeral Home encouraged the audience to live in peace.

“May we go into the world to be active to the cause of peace,” Ross said.

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