Ed Stevenson, president of the Sylvan Lake Legion, lays a wreath for the branch at the cenotaph, during a smaller outdoor ceremony on Nov.11. Photos by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Sylvan Lake’s Remembrance Day is more than just one day

Sylvan Lakers honour Remembrance Day, and the 100th anniversary of armistice

In Sylvan Lake Remembrance Day is more than one day, it is a season of remembering and honouring those who came before.

Arena Two at the NexSource Centre was full to standing room only as the public came out to honour Canada’s veterans and serving members of the nation’s military, Nov. 11.

Veterans, active members of Canada’s military, RCMP and emergency services sat before a solemn cenotaph guarded by the 41 Signal Regiment, 2 Squadron from Red Deer.

The work of Al Cameron and the Veteran Voices of Canada has brought remembering and honouring fallen soldiers to mean more than one day in a years with 365 to spare.

READ MORE: 128 Flags of Remembrance now flying in Sylvan Lake until Nov. 12

Chaplain Rev. Kevin Haugen asked those gathered why people, in the general sense, need to be reminded to remember.

The Psalm of David the reverend quoted during his address at the service says, “forget not”.

Haugen says it is part of being a human to forget.

“It is part of our human nature that we tend to forget, it is part of who we are,” Haugen said.

Thanks to the efforts of so many, Sylvan Lake is reminded to remember everyday from the middle of September to the middle of November.

Walking along Lakeshore Drive 128 Canadian flags fly proudly to honour the 128,000 men and women who have died in conflicts while defending and protecting Canada.

Another 128 flags also fly along Hwy. 11, reminding all those who drive past the sacrifices that have been made.

On Nov. 11, more was done than saying a couple words and laying wreaths before the cenotaph. This year marked 100 years since the armistice was signed.

And so, Sylvan Lakers, and Canadians across the country, gathered again to remember.

“On the 11th hours, of the 11th day, of the 11th month the armistice was signed bring with it peace and the end of the bloodiest war the world had known,” said Haugen.

On that morning, bells rang out across Britain making the end of the war, and 100 years later Canada and Sylvan Lake remembered by ringing church bells.

Around 50 people gathered at sunset at the Sylvan Lake Memorial Presbyterian Church to her the church bell ring out 100 times, one for each year that had passed.

Mayor Sean McIntyre was present, and rang the bell himself a handful of times, and said how heartening it was to see people gathered to remember.

“It seems like we are finding a new way to remember every year, and honour those who deserve it the most,” said McIntyre.

The 100th peel of the bell was rang by A.J. Sandulac, a sea cadet from Sylvan Lake.

“It was a horrific war, one where the world understood the power of technology and the frailty of human beings,” said Haugen.

“… Today, for us here in Sylvan Lake and in Canada… on the 100th anniversary we are doing our very best to forget not.”

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A resident from Bethany Care laid a wreath at the cenotaph for the care home.

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