As an honour guard circled the Cenotaph and bag pipes played, men and women in uniform proudly stood at attention and Castlegar gathered to remember.
Close to five hundred people gathered at Kinsman Park on Remembrance Day to pay their respects and show appreciation to those who have sacrificed for the freedoms we have in Canada today.
After the singing of “O’ Canada”, MP Richard Cannings spoke briefly of the centennial anniversary of the Battle of the Somme before stating, “I ask you to remember those men and women who have fought for Canada throughout the years for our freedom, for our peace and for our justice around the world.”
Mayor Lawrence Chernoff expressed his thoughts on the sacrifices made, “They died for us, for their homes, families and friends, for a collection of traditions they cherished and a future they believed in — they died for Canada.” He also stated, “It is up to us to ensure that their dream of peace is realized,” before concluding with words of thanks to all who have served their country in the past and those who are serving currently.
When David Leffelaar finished trumpeting “Last Post”, the traditional two minutes of silence began and masses of yellow balloons were released into the sky — each one representing 1000 lives lost.
Bob Bertuzzi (drums), Len Coates (pipes) and the Twin Rivers Choir also contributed musical offerings to the ceremonies. In Flanders Fields was presented by Castlegar Princess Sara Illes and Miss Royal Canadian Legion Ecco Haake.
The placing of commemorative wreaths was led by Ann Fominoff, who placed the Mother’s Wreath. She was followed by representatives of many local organizations, businesses and individuals. As a final act of remembrance, many in the crowd removed the poppies they had proudly worn on their lapels and placed them on the wreaths surrounding the Cenotaph.