At exactly 12 p.m. on October 17th, goose bumps will rise on the necks of thousands of Canadians alongside 1,000’s of flags as theVeteran’s Voices of Canada – Flags of Remembrance event will see four Canadian communities, including Sylvan Lake,simultaneously participating in one of the largest cross country memorial services in the country’s history outside of RemembranceDay itself.
Following the success of last year’s Flags of Remembrance event alongside Highway 11 east of Sylvan Lake, Allan Cameron, SylvanLake resident of eight years and executive director of Veteran’s Voices of Canada, has big plans up his sleeve for this year’s event.
“Right around noon you will hear the Red Deer Pipe and Drum band play, on either side of the highway you will see horses who areinvolved with veteran’s PTSD treatment,” explained Cameron during an interview with Sylvan Lake News. “The pipe band will beginplaying, the horses begin walking and as they walk past the flags they will be raised, as that is happening we will see a vintage WorldWar II plane do a fly over in honour of our veterans and fallen – then as the horses stop at the end of the flags we will hear atrumpeter playing ‘Last Post’.”
Following this the crowd will be asked to take a moment of silence, then we hear from speakers including Cameron and MCpl. PaulFranklin – a veteran, activist, motivational speaker, and proud Canadian.
Cameron added at exactly the same time flags are raising along Highway 11, flags will also be going up in four other communitiesincluding Ponoka, one in Ontario, one in B.C. and one in P.E.I. adding the spread of the movement across the country came fromindividual groups and organizations partnering with Veterans Voices following the success of last year. This year’s event will also seethe addition of 12 flags to the total, to which he explained will represent the 12,000 men and women missing in action.
“We want people to look at the flags, understand what they represent and take a minute to think about it – if that’s even just onemore minute than they would take normally throughout the year to think about it then that’s a positive thing,” explained Cameronon the Flags of Remembrance ceremony. “I know we are going to make an even bigger impact this year for the whole reason of whywe are there – honour, remembrance and not only giving tribute to our missing in action and our fallen but also our current and pastserving as well.”
Cameron explained the first Flags of Remembrance event stemmed from an idea he had been mulling for the past five years, withlast year being the boiling point-pinnacle for him. He added something kept bringing him back to the idea and he knew in 2014 itwas high time to make it happen.
“Around this time last year Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo were taken down about a week before we raised the flags – but evenbefore that I knew we had to do more to give our veterans and heroes more tribute throughout the year and this is another way to dothat,” he said.
The inaugural Veterans Voices of Canada Flags of Remembrance event last year catapulted the organization into the national andinternational spotlight, with Cameron explaining news outlets across the globe picked up the story.
“It was unbelievable to see the national and international coverage we received – you always hope something is going to be as big asyou imagine it, but when it actually happens it takes your breathe away,
“I received emails from veterans all over the world saying Canada never waves their flag, but they’re waving their flag now and it’sabout time – it was such an incredible feeling to hear from those people.”
The 2015 Flags of Remembrance will take place on October 19th, with the flag raising beginning at noon sharp. Attendees areencouraged to arrive as early as 11:30 a.m. with Veterans Voice of Canada welcoming volunteers of any kind.
In addition to volunteers being needed, the organization is also still welcoming the sponsorship of ‘Hero/Guardian’ plaques whichwill be attached to the flag poles allowing sponsors to say the ‘hero of their choosing is the guardian of the 1,000 fallen soldiers thatflag represents.’
For more information on sponsorships or to volunteer contact Allan Cameron at (403)887-7114 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.