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Fort Macleod residents gather to salute veterans

The 2309 Fort Macleod Army Cadets marched the colours on Main Street.

The 2309 Fort Macleod Army Cadets marched the colours on Main Street.

Wreaths at the base of the cenotaph.

Wreaths at the base of the cenotaph.

Legion president George Fox placed a wreath.

Legion president George Fox placed a wreath.

RCMP Sgt. Laura Akitt and Col. Stephane Guevremont assisted 94-year-old veteran Stan Edwards on the march from the cenotaph on Second Avenue to the community hall.

RCMP Sgt. Laura Akitt and Col. Stephane Guevremont assisted 94-year-old veteran Stan Edwards on the march from the cenotaph on Second Avenue to the community hall.

The sacrifices of Canadians for peace and freedom were remembered Saturday during a solemn ceremony in Fort Macleod.
Close to 400 people filled the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall for the Legion’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
“I think it’s only right we spend one hour in one day out of 365 remembering the sacrifices of those who have gone before us,” Rev. Pilar Gateman said.
Rev. Gateman said people are to remember the people who fought and died in past wars, as well as the sacrifices of Canadians in ongoing conflicts.
People were urged to think about soldiers who had life-changing injuries and experiences in war.
Those gathered at the community hall were encouraged to remember and think about people from Fort Macleod and district who have gone to war and on peace-keeping missions.
“We remember unknown soldiers, those who have never been found or buried,” Rev. Gateman said, noting there are 8,000 to 12,000 unmarked graves in a small Belgian town.
People were also encouraged to spare a thought for family and friends of all soldiers who had to live with bereavement and loved ones who have been changed by war forever.
People were told to remember how war affects the world.
“I was actually quite horrified to find out that since World War Two we have only had 26 days without war,” Rev. Gateman said. “And so we remember and call to mind various war zones around the world.”
Nine of the present conflicts in the world have been going on for 70 years.
Rev. Gateman said it is disgusting that deaths in current wars are glossed over in the news in favour of celebrity gossip.
“But we also remember and appreciate the freedoms that have been claimed on our behalf by soldiers and their families,” Rev. Gateman said. “Freedoms that we often take for granted.”
The Remembrance Day ceremony featured prayer and hymns as well as two minutes of silence.
The Alexies Regier Memorial Pipes and Drums marched in the colour guard and trumpeter Claire McMahon played The Last Post and Reveille.
Piper Brenda Lockmuller played a lament following the two minutes of silence, and Legion president George Fox read the Act of Remembrance.
More than 40 wreaths were placed at the base of the cenotaph.

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