A crisp and cold morning with grey overcast skies made a fittingly sombre backdrop to the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Trail Sunday. Almost 300 people attended at the Cenotaph in Trail to honour citizens lost in past wars and show support for those currently serving in Canada’s Armed Forces.
Many in the crowd had had family members or friends who have served in the military but a considerable part of the gathering bore medals and the various regalia that indicated current or former service in the reserves and regular forces.
Lt. Col. Allan Moreau is the current commander of the 39th Combat Engineer Regiment in Trail and has been involved in the armed forces since high school. He saw active duty in Kuwait and Cyprus.
“I think there’s generally good meaning around Remembrance Day,” said Moreau. “We’ve had peace in Canada for so long and now you see the civilian numbers dropping at the ceremonies, it doesn’t seem to have as much significance for people as it did. Maybe we take our freedom for granted in our country.”
Sgt. Bart Fyffe has been with Canada’s military for over 12 years and moved to the area in 2004 to serve with the 39th Combat Engineers.
“For me it’s a time to reflect on the past, to remember the veterans of the past and their sacrifices,” said Fyffe. “Now, with the conflict in Afghanistan we have new veterans and it’s important to recognize what we’re doing now, trying to bring Canadian values to places that don’t have what we do here. That and the obvious sacrifices of those we lose.”
Wayne Reddick only served with the reserve forces for two years but still wore the jacket with his regiment’s insignia proudly.
“I grew up in the time when all my family served in the forces,” said Reddick. “This year it’s kind of personal for me because I had an uncle who was in the military for 15 years who recently passed away. This is my chance to honour him and honour the ones who didn’t make it.”
After the ceremony, as the chairs and sound system were being cleared away for another year, a solitary middle-aged man walked up and stood before the Cenotaph. He snapped a crisp salute, raised his gaze up at the Cenotaph, and turned away into the waiting arms of his family.