The Flags of Remembrance ceremony will be held at Sylvan Lake’s Centennial Park on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Photo submitted by Al Cameron)

The Flags of Remembrance ceremony will be held at Sylvan Lake’s Centennial Park on Saturday, Sept. 10. (Photo submitted by Al Cameron)

Sylvan Lake honouring military heroes

On Saturday, Sept. 10, Veterans Voices of Canada will be hosting their annual Flags of Remembrance ceremony at Sylvan Lake’s Centennial Park, where 128 Canadian flags will be raised, representing the 128,000 Canadian military and RCMP members killed or missing in action, lost in service from the Boer War to present-day missions.

In addition to the flags, community members may sponsor a plaque and dedicate it to a past or present military member or a first responder. The plaques are showcased on the flagpole and the honouree or the person who made the dedication may stand on the flag line and be part of the ceremony by unfurling the flag.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The ceremony will begin at 11:15 a.m. and at noon two veterans, on horseback, will walk the flag line and the flags will be unfurled as they pass.

“It’s an amazing experience,” said Veterans Voices of Canada founder, Al Cameron.

This year, Tanya Shewchuk will also be in attendance to speak, coming all the way from Nova Scotia. Shewchuk is Sub-Lieut. Abbigail Cowbrough’s mother – Sub-Lieut. Cowbrough and five other members of the Canadian Forces were killed in 2020 when the helicopter they were in crashed in the Mediterranean Sea.

Veterans Voices of Canada has been hosting this ceremony with their community host partners since 2014, and Cameron said every year the flags are vandalized. The flags remain in the park until Nov. 12.

“We want people to be respectful of the tribute,” said Cameron, adding that they want people to visit the flags, but not to handle or vandalize them.

There are still plaques available for those wanting to honour a past or present hero. The minimum donation for a plaque is $250.

“We’re asking for the community’s support in this,” Cameron said. “We want to keep doing this every year.”

In addition to the ceremony, money raised from the plaques also goes towards the Veterans Voices of Canada video campaign and supporting local veterans in need.

“We give back to the community that’s supporting us to do what we do,” explained Cameron.

Later on in November, the flag and the plaque will be presented to the sponsor or the honouree.

For more information, visit vetvoicecan.org.

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