On, Saturday, November 11, a large crowd gathered at Airdrie's Genesis Place to commemorate Remembrance Day.
Local veterans and their families attended the ceremony, along with Airdrie residents, who wished to pay their respects to all those who served in uniform.
The ceremony, hosted by the Royal Canadian Legion Airdrie-Branch #288, saw local dignitaries from all levels of government, including Airdrie Mayor Peter Brown, several councillors including Deputy Mayor Tina Petrow, Councillor Ron Chapman, Councillor Heather Spearman, Councillor Darrell Belyk, and Councillor Al Jones. Local Members of the Legislative Assembly, Angela Pitt (Airdrie-East) also attended.
Other local organizations that took part in the Remembrance Day ceremony included members of Airdrie's RCMP, including Sgt. Mike Zinck., Airdrie Firefighters Honour Guard, as well as the City's Fire Chief Mike Pirie, as well as several cadet and Scouts organizations.
Mayor Brown underlined that Remembrance Day holds a special place in the hearts of many.
"It's a day to remember the families who endured the pain of separation, and most importantly, loss," he said, "And it's a day to remember the countless lives forever changed by war. Remembrance Day is not just about looking back at history. It's about understanding the present and shaping our future. It's a reminder that freedom and peace are not guaranteed."
Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae's famous poem, "In Flanders Fields", was also read out and at 11 a.m., two minutes of silence was held. Following various speeches, groups participated in a wreath-laying ceremony.
A brief wreath-laying ceremony was also held at the Airdrie Cenotaph following the Remembrance Day ceremony at Genesis Place. In early July the Battle of Gapyeong Victory Monument was placed at the cenotaph.
The monument honours Veterans of the 2nd Battalion of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment who took part in the battle from April 22-25 1951, that helped save Seoul (capital of South Korea) during the Korean War. The monument will also serve to celebrate the 60-year diplomatic relationship between Canada and Korea.
Across the country and the province, similar ceremonies are taking place. The neighbouring towns of Crossfield, Carstairs, as well as Didsbury also held their own ceremonies.
Politicians across Canada also underlined the importance of Remembrance Day on various social media platforms. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a video on X (formerly known as Twitter), commemorating the day.
They have endured horrors. They have borne scars. And they deserve nothing less than our sincere gratitude. Today, let us all pause to thank Canada’s incredible Veterans. We salute your courage, your strength, and your selflessness. #CanadaRemembers https://t.co/kS6xuG8JD0 pic.twitter.com/9EtTeI8sJ9— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 11, 2023
While his Conservative counterpart, Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, also took to X to commemorate Canada's veterans.
We remember. pic.twitter.com/q0kvHbu8as— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) November 11, 2023
Alberta's Premier, Danielle Smith, also posted a message to her official X account.
Each year at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, we join with all Canadians to pause in a moment of silent reflection and respect for the men and women who have served in defence of our country and our freedoms. It is our way to remember our debt of gratitude to the veterans of today and of… pic.twitter.com/OZFjuwvuVy— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) November 11, 2023
November 11, was originally called Armistice Day to mark the end of hostilities in World War I. Eight Books of Remembrance which are housed in the Memorial Chamber in the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, contain over 120,000 Canadian names who gave their life for their country.
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