Remembrance: it’s something we usually turn our focus to once a year for a single day.
But for five years now the Flags of Remembrance ceremony put on by Veterans Voices of Canada has extended that day into a season.
The opening ceremony for the 2018 Flags of Remembrance was held Saturday in Sylvan Lake, home-base for Al Cameron, the organization's founder.
Now, not only do 128 flags fly proudly along the Sylvan Lake shoreline, another 256 line both the south and north sides of Highway 11 close to town. The number 128 represents the approximately 128,000 men and women killed or missing in action in conflicts across the centuries.
“It should be every day of the year,” says Cameron. “This is a day for everybody and for us to give tribute to all our first responders, all our RCMP and all our service people. They do such important work and we’re going to keep honouring them this way.”
Simultaneously with the event in Sylvan Lake, 128 flags were also unfurled up the highway in Ponoka, as well as in Sydney, NS, Charlottetown, PEI, Bathurst, NB and Windsor, ON.
Cameron told the many servicepeople, volunteers and community members in attendance that he hopes to eventually have 128 ceremonies happening throughout the country.
Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre was also on hand for the ceremony he says has become a local tradition.
“We’re really proud of everything Veterans Voices of Canada has been able to accomplish through the Flags of Remembrance tribute,” McIntyre stated, making a point about the extension of the time in which people are encouraged to remember because of this ceremony.
“I really feel like this is giving honour where honour is due to those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice for our country, our lifestyle and those around the world. To have it start here in Sylvan Lake is really something special.”
The flags, each of which has a plaque commemorating a family member or someone lost during war-time, will come down during the week after Remembrance Day. The flags and plaques are then give to the person that sponsored it.
More information is at VetVoiceCan.org.
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