As thousands gathered across the nation to mark Remembrance Day on Monday, the Stettler community filled the Stettler Performing Arts Centre to capacity to remember and honour the men and women who have served this country in war and peace-keeping missions.
Notable and refreshing was the fact that the audience was comprised of multi-generation families, young and old alike, from babies in arms right up to the most senior citizens.
Each year, of course, the number of veterans in attendance dwindles slightly.
Stettler lost one of its most celebrated war heroes last January with the death of Jack Chapman.
Speakers at Monday’s service paid tribute to the late Chapman for his service and his devotion to the Stettler branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Lest we forget, the traditional two-hour service helped keep the memory alive of those who served in the great wars and peace-keeping efforts.
Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
A key message delivered on Remembrance Day was that the freedoms we enjoy today should not be taken for granted, and that “a huge debt of gratitude” is owed to those who served to protect those freedoms.
In her invocation address, Rev. Carolyn Langford praised those who bravely served.
“We remember those who died and those who returned wounded — in body, mind and spirit,” Langford said.
“We give thanks for their sacrifices.”
After the service at the Performing Arts Centre, the Legion colour guard and members of the RCMP detachments marched to Sharpe’s Memorial Park to lay wreaths at the memorial cenotaph on a cool but sunny November day.