Remembrance Day brings together fellow Canadians in solemn ceremonies across the country to remember the fallen, recognize the serving, and be respectful of the peace we have today.
Armistice Day in 1919 marked the end of what was then called the Great War, a war where approximately 61,000 Canadians were killed and 172,000 injured. More than 619,000 people enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force with about 424,000 serving overseas.
In the years that followed, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month would be a moment where people would honour all those who served protecting our freedom.
The Royal Canadian Legion, formed in 1925, has 260,000 members at 1,400 branches across the country. Its membership includes currently serving and retired Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police members, parents, wives, husbands, sons, daughters and grandchildren of veterans. The Ladies Auxiliary is operated separately from the Royal Canadian Legion, but the two organizations work together. The Ladies Auxiliary started during World War One to help wounded veterans when they returned home. When the Royal Canadian Legion was formed a few years later, the Ladies Auxiliary offered volunteer support to ex-service personel and their families.
Legions across the nation on Remembrance Day invite the public in joining them to pay tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers through commemoration services.
“The Legion acknowledges the end of conflicts and does not commemorate the start of conflicts. The most sacred day of Remembrance is Remembrance Day. Every year, on November 11, the Legion recognizes all of Canada’s Veterans, serving and retired, and commemorates our Fallen, including the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, Peace Officers, Merchant Navy, and Reserves. On that day, we also honour the families and their losses,” reads a segment on the Royal Canadian Legion website.
To date, Canadians have been involved in the following conflicts:
South African War: 1899-1902
First World War: 1914-18
Second World War: 1939-45
Korean War: 1950-53
Persian Gulf War: 1990-91
Afghanistan War: 2001-14
In addition, Canadians have been involved in the following peacekeeping missions: Lebanon, Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Sudan, and others. The Royal Canadian Legion recognizes peacetime veterans in their organization.
The Redcliff Royal Canadian Legion is inviting the public to participate in this year’s service and Legion manager, Pierre D’Amour advises that those wishing to attend should arrive early to ensure a seat.
Those taking part in the march to Parkside School will meet at the Legion at 9:30 a.m., then will march to Parkside for the start of the 10:00 service. The service will be led by Rev. David Carter and participants in the ceremony will include Redcliff Legion members, CFB Suffield, BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield), Ladies Auxiliary, RCMP, Scouts, Guides, Sea Cadets, and cadets.
Following the ceremony, there will be a march to the Cenotaph at the Royal Canadian Legion Memorial Park for the laying of the wreaths.
A reception will be held at the Redcliff Legion following the service.