Central Albertans are once again invited out to the Veterans Voices of Canada – Flags of Remembrance ceremony taking place on October 7.
Allan Cameron, Founding CEO/Executive Director of Veterans Voices of Canada, said he feels it’s important to honour our veterans year-round, as opposed to just a two-week span in November.
"I feel that we have to do this year-round so what I thought was what’s a way to make people stop and think about our fallen and our currently serving as well. I wanted an amazing visual display where it was very obvious and exposed," Cameron said.
The 128 flags will unfurl during a ceremony following a parade of veterans and the Red Deer Legion Pipe Band. Cameron said the ceremony itself is heartwarming and a good time to stop and think about those who serve.
“When you’re at our opening ceremonies that’s when the emotions and the need for this is really seen. It really brings people together and it makes us understand what the Flags of Remembrance means," he said.
There are 15 total tribute sites across Canada, each of which will host a ceremony at the same time as the one held at Centennial Park in Sylvan Lake starting at 11:30 a.m.
One way to support the cause is by sponsoring a plaque.
“Each individual flag is honoured by having a hero plaque, and on that plaque will be a name of a veteran or military hero," Cameron explained.
To sponsor a flag, individuals or corporations simply provide the information of a veteran that they know. Sponsorships are available for a minimum of $200.
“We take (that information) and inscribe it on a hero plaque which is a 6” by 6” Canadian maple leaf. They then go on the flag poles for the six weeks, and at the closing ceremonies we give those plaques and flags to whoever sponsored them. It’s a really cool keepsake," he says.
Sponsorships are only available until August 19.
Cameron added that if every flag is sponsored, Veterans Voices of Canada will donate $10,000 to local charities.
Past years have been very successful with upwards of 500 in attendance at the ceremonies.
Cameron also said that the flags themselves are an amazing tribute to see in person and are worth the drive.
“It makes people stop and think. I haven’t spoken to many people who drive by it who aren’t teary-eyed. It’s obviously making an impact.”
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