Balloons released in early-morning flag tribute

An early-morning tribute to Canada’s veterans and war dead last week attracted no shortage of participants, who gathered at 6:45 a.m.

Tribute - A piper plays at an early-morning tribute to Canada’s veterans and war dead last Wednesday. The tribute saw about 120 people stand post in front of the flag display along Highway 11 for one hour.

An early-morning tribute to Canada’s veterans and war dead last week attracted no shortage of participants, who gathered at 6:45 a.m. for the occasion.

A crowd of about 120 — comprising police officers, firefighters, veterans and civilians from all over Central Alberta — lined up along the flag display east of Sylvan Lake, and stood post for one hour on the morning of Oct. 29.

Participants then released balloons into the sky, and stood silent before singing O Canada.

“At that moment when the balloons were released, it made me tear up instantly,” said organizer Michelle Walker. “It instantly showed why I love being a part of Canada.”

The idea for the show of respect arrived just three days prior, when, while on her way to work, Walker drove past the flags that currently line Highway 11 east of Sylvan Lake as part of Veterans Voices of Canada’s Flags of Remembrance campaign.

Reflecting on an insignificant argument her children had the day before, she felt it would be a good way to teach them about the truly important things in life.

“I saw the flags, and I knew I had to do this for my three kids; I had to show them that there comes a time when you have to unite together and support your country,” she said.

Walker decided on the Oct. 29 date as it marked one week after the shooting in Ottawa that left Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dead.

“The time was very significant, and that’s why I wanted to do it on that exact time,” she said. “A week after he was shot, and we’re still standing strong.”

Given the limited time she had to work with, Walker confesses to not sleeping in the days leading up to the event. All-around co-operation from the entire community, however, ensured her efforts did not go unmerited.

“I think it touched every single person in a way that we can’t understand, because anywhere I went, it wasn’t a question of if they were going to be there, it was a question of what time,” said Walker. “It’s Canada, and at the drop of a finger, we’ll unite together in tragedy.”

Several businesses helped with the setup, cleanup and overall operation of the event. Walker is grateful to everyone who attended or helped in some way, and felt the event successfully fulfilled its purpose.

“Their sacrifice keeps us standing, and that’s what I want everyone to see,” she said. “We’re still standing.”


Just Posted

WATCH: Sylvan Lake celebrates 1913 Days

Many lined the streets and participated in the many events around 1913 Days

Central Alberta Buccaneers pillage Vandals 64-19

Bucs’ notch second win of the season convincingly

Central Alberta Humane Society presents cat yoga

Proceeds will be used to care for the shelter animals

Exciting singing opportunities await with Choirs Red Deer

A new opportunity for those who love to sing will soon be available in Red Deer

Country star Aaron Pritchett set to hit Westerner Days

Pritchett performs July 18th on the Centrium mainstage

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

Three junior hockey players injured starting campfire

Ryan Vandervlis, a 20-year old centre with Lethbridge Hurricanes has been placed in a medically induced coma

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Major tire theft at Wetaskiwin auto dealership

Wetaskiwin RCMP estimated $70,000 worth of tires and rims stolen

Capitals coach resigns after Stanley Cup win

Barry Trotz announced his resignation on Monday

Leduc RCMP investigate small plane crash

No injuries after plane crashes in lake

Sweden beats South Korea 1-0

Sweden gets benefit of video review in World Cup

Most Read