By Carson Ellis
The Stettler Performing Arts Centre was filled to near-capacity on Nov. 11 as people from all around attended the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
Emcee Donna Morris called for the Parading of the Colours, which was presented by the Royal Canadian Legion #59 as well as members from the RCMP, Air Cadets and County of Stettler Protective Services.
The Last Post was played by trumpeter Marvyn Harris followed by two minutes of silence observed at 11 a.m.
After the Lament and the Rouse, the colours were deposited and Rev. Ross Helgeton presented the Invocation and the lesson.
In it, Helgeton spoke of how he had originally been asked to fill in for the Legion Padre almost ten years ago for just one year, a position he has held since and has found to be an enjoyable experience.
Helgeton then noted that it has been 104 years since the end of World War One, and 77 years since the end of World War Two. He continued that it is estimated there are 20,000 World War Two veterans remaining today, averaging in age of 97-years-old yet still continuing to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies out of respect for fallen comrades.
While the wreath layers were excused to prepare, a special musical performance was provided by Judy Dinsmore and Brenda Gartside. The duo sang a specially modified version of ‘Hallelujah’ about a soldier going to war and coming back a changed person.
Afterwards, 35 wreaths were laid starting with one on behalf of the King and others lain on behalf of the Town and County of Stettler and other government offices and community groups. Several wreaths were also laid in memory of family members who have served; many of them were laid by grandchildren and great-grandchildren of fallen soldiers.
A special address was then made by Ray Cerniuk who talked of growing up surrounded by veterans and legion members.
“It is very common that the bravest of the brave, who risked and sacrificed the most, say very little about it,” said Cerniuk.
Cerniuk continued, speaking about how those who served in the wars were just ordinary people who did extraordinary things.
Rev. Helgeton then returned to present the benediction, which was followed by playing a recording of ‘The Man We Never Knew’. While this played, poppy leaves were dropped from above towards the back of the stage.
The ceremony was then closed out by the picking up of the colors and the March Past of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #59, with the salute taken by Branch #59 Vice-President Comrade Harry Magee.