Lesser Slave Lake
Like many of you, I’ll be spending this week thinking about the sacrifices of our veterans, and the men and women who continue to serve our country.
We owe much of the freedom and prosperity we enjoy today to the 118,000 Canadians who have been killed in armed conflicts around the world, and hundreds of thousands more who have returned from those conflicts bearing the scars of their experiences.
Growing up, as a member of Brownies and then Girl Guides, I remember putting on my uniform every November to march in the Remembrance Day parade. Back then, and every year since, I reflected upon how grateful I was for those soldiers who braved cold and hunger, often through devastating conditions and without proper footwear, to defend their country.
Our country’s military history goes back longer than any of us have been alive, but its significance never fades. This year, we’ve marked major anniversaries of several defining moments in our country’s military history. We honoured those who fought and died at Vimy Ridge 100 years ago in April. We marked the centennial of the battle at Hill 70 in August. We’ll mark the centennial of Passchendaele on Nov. 10.
Every day that I get to serve as your elected representative, I know I owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have courageously stood up and continue to stand up against the forces who seek to undermine democracy and oppress free people around the world.
It may seem like a small gesture to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony, or observe two minutes of silence, or lay a poppy on a grave. But it has such a tremendous impact on our community, and means so much to the families of those we have lost, and for all the Armed Forces members and veterans living all across this country.
Here in Lesser Slave Lake there are several ways you can pay your respects to those who have served our country and paid the ultimate price. Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held at the Legions in both High Prairie and Slave Lake, as well as at the Kinosayo Museum in Kinuso. Red Earth Creek School and Smith School will both be holding ceremonies open to the public, and Martin’s Catholic Church in Wabasca will be holding a march to the cenotaph followed by wreath presentations and lunch at the Community Hall. If you can’t make it out to any of these events, observe a moment of solemn, reflective silence at 11 a.m. this Saturday.
I hope you will all join me in honouring the memory of so many brave Albertans who have come before us and paved the way for the better province and country we enjoy today. Lest we forget.