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Fort Macleod packs hall for Remembrance Day ceremony

cenotaph

Members of the 2309 Fort Macleod Army Cadets stood guard at the cenotaph.

logan markland

Logan Markland placed a wreath for his father, Warrant Officer David Markland, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.

Fort Macleod residents turned out in force Monday to remember the sacrifices of men and women who fought for freedom.
A standing room only crowd packed the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony organized by the Royal Canadian Legion.
“We must never forget the people who fought in the wars, who did what they had to do,” Legion chaplain Jack Cullen said. “We must never forget them, but we must also be on our guard for our freedom.”
After the colour party marched into the community hall and the singing of O Canada, Jack Cullen gave the prayer of invocation.
That was followed at 11 a.m. by the playing of The Last Post by bugler Sergio Lowen-Asporga.
After two minutes of silence was observed, Legion president George Fox read the Act of Remembrance and the bugler played Reveille.
Cullen led the audience in the singing of hymns Eternal Father, Amazing Grace and Peace is Precious.
F.P. Walshe school students Hannah Bullock, Hannah Burbank, Katie Bullock, Bella Gunderson and Rachelle Orr gave a musical rendition of the poem In Flanders Fields.
In his address following the scripture reading, Cullen said that by and large memory is a wonderful thing.
“We can see many good times, but you know along with the good times there come bad times as well,” Cullen said. “We are grateful for the good times, and it is very essential for us that we learn from the bad times.”
War monuments and military cemeteries are in almost every community in Canada as a way to remember.
Cullen reflected on the wreaths that were to be placed at the foot of the cenotaph.
“If you look at a wreath you’ll find it is a circle, and of course a circle has no beginning and no ending,” Cullen said. “This reminds us that we should always, and continually, be on guard against those who would take from us our freedom that has been so dearly paid for.”
Cullen commented on the poppies that people were wearing at the ceremony.
“It’s an emblem of remembrance,” Cullen said.
“The black center can speak to us today of the dark days of history, the dark days of war,” Cullen said. “There’s nothing good about war, no matter what people tell you. It brings suffering, it brings sorrow, it brings devastation to the land, it brings separation to the families.”
One war, Cullen said, is as bad as the other, noting the red in the poppy is a reminder of the blood that is spilled.
“That blood was not spilled in vain. Because of that we have a land of freedom. Sometimes I think we don’t appreciate and cherish our freedom as we should.”
Hayley Grier-Stewart of the 2309 Fort Macleod Army Cadets read the poem I Am the Cenotaph.
Thirty-five wreaths were placed at the foot of the new cenotaph.
The wreaths were placed on behalf of a wide range of groups, organizations and people including Canada’s Silver Cross mothers, the Queen, the governments of Alberta and Canada and veterans of World War One, World War Two and the Korean War.
Wreaths were also placed on behalf of veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Canadian Navy.
Logan Markland, a student at G.R. Davis school, placed a wreath on behalf of his father Warrant Officer David Markland, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on Feb. 8, 2010.
Frans Feyter placed a wreath on behalf of the people of occupied Holland, and Sharon Murphy placed one on behalf of Canadian war brides.
Wreaths were also placed on behalf of the Town of Fort Macleod, MD of Willow Creek, Royal Canadian Legion and Ladies Auxiliary, RCMP, Army Cadets, Fort Macleod Fire Department, Alberta Health Services, Scouts, Cubs, Girl Guides, Salvation Army, Seniors Welcome Mat, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge, Masons, Rotary Club, and W.A. Day, G.R. Davis and F.P. Walshe schools.
The audience joined in the prayer and benediction and sang God Save the Queen to conclude the ceremony.

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