By Carson Ellis
Despite the cold wind and snow, a small group of citizens and dignitaries gathered at the Lakeview Cemetery on Mon, Nov. 7 to take part in the No Stone Left Alone ceremony. Organized by the Stettler Rotary Club, this is the ceremony’s fifth year where our veterans were remembered, and their sacrifices honoured.
The ceremony started at 1 p.m. with a small procession entering from the main gates of the cemetery with both an RCMP officer and a County Peace officer in dress uniform leading the procession that included Mayor Sean Nolls, MLA Nate Horner, Rotary President Arlene Morton, members of the 572 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron and retired RCAF member Ron Richards.
Scott Pfieffer led those in attendance through O Canada, followed by club president and ceremony emcee Arlene Morton making her opening remarks. She briefly spoke of honouring her grandfather who had fought in World War One, and her father who had fought in the Air Force in later conflicts.
Following Morton, the Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner took the podium. Horner spoke about the importance of such ceremonies that give young Albertans a unique opportunity to “know understand, and appreciate the sacrifices of Canada’s fallen soldiers, and those who continue to serve.” Horner went on to express gratitude for the courage of those who answered so bravely, and those who have continued to do so since.
Rotarian Brad Snodgrass then spoke on behalf of MP Damien Kurek who was unable to attend. In the speech, Snodgrass spoke of how it was important to remember the past, so it was not repeated.
“It is our duty to thank those who donned our nation’s uniform, so we could live in a country where we are free,” said Snodgrass.
Nolls welcomed those attended the special event, before briefly examining the term ‘lest we forget’ and the many different things it means and represents. He extended his unending gratitude to those who have served, on behalf of Stettler. After Nolls, Clinton Sime spoke on behalf of Reeve Larry Clarke.
Clarke’s message was about appreciation of not only the fallen but the families of the fallen who gave up time with their loved ones who chose to defend Canada. He said it was important to continue working to maintain the peace they had lost their lives to achieve.
After the speeches, Morton called on one of the members of the Air Cadets for a reading of In Flanders Fields. Following the cadet, Pastor Ross Helgeton was invited to the podium to read a prayer of remembrance.
A second member of the Air Cadets then presented the Commitment to Remember, and Tammy Duncan was invited up to present an Act to Remember.
Brandon Enyedy and Eric Rahn would then perform Last Post on trumpets, which was followed by a minute of silence. The Lament was played over the speaker by Scott Pfieffer, and the trumpeters then played the Rouse.
The formal procession was concluded with the laying of the wreath by Caleb Ould, who is a second-Lieutenant in charge of the Stettler Air Cadets, and Tammy Duncan.
A moment of silence was then held for the original event organizer Peggy Duncan who had passed away earlier this year.
At the conclusion of the service, those in attendance were invited back to the Christian Education Wing of the United Church for treats, refreshments and warmth.