Remembrance Day ceremonies in Terrace were back to the full regular program for the first time since pandemic restrictions began, with 11 a.m. ceremonies held indoors at Tillicum Twin Theatres followed by the laying of wreaths at the cenotaph in front of city hall.
Pat Smith serjeant-at-arms at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #13 noted that Terrace is one of the few legions that traditionally do an indoor ceremony. Last year’s ceremonies were held outdoors due to the pandemic.
“Some people have described our as the best indoor service in Canada. I tend to agree with that. We started that here in Terrace so that we could have more speakers and we think it’s very important that we do that before we go to the cenotaph.
One significant change this year is that with the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Anthem changed from God Save the Queen to God Save the King and the Legion is waiting on an official picture of the king.
Smith said this year’s ceremonies take on special significance because of the ongoing war in Eastern Europe, that reminds us war can come at any time.
“There’s conflict in the world right now in Ukraine and our thoughts is that right now the world is not as safe of a place as it was five years ago. As Canadians we have concerns about our global community.
“It’s important that we continue to remember all the lives that are lost during war.”
Smith added that while people tend to associate Remembrance Day with elderly veterans, young people are an important part of it, too.
“A huge priority for us is to involve the younger members of the community and that includes the Air Cadets, Scouts of Terrace and the Girl Guides of Canada. It’s important to us that they march in the parade.
“Many of the soldiers laid down their lives at too early an age. It’s important to remember that for the community.”
The theatre was packed and hundreds gathered at the wreath laying ceremony afterward. First Nations, federal, provincial and municipal representatives all paid their respects.
”We want people to remember that our freedom here in Canada is not free there are people who fought and died for our freedom,” said Smith.
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