Thousands of people stood as the clock struck 11, the last post began to play and then silence. Everyone thinking of and remembering the men and women who serve our country, those who have served in the past, and those who gave their life for our freedom.
As the last post played, rose petals started to drop from the sky towards a large white cross below. Some in attendance took a glance towards the roof, watching the red petals flutter down beside the cross on green artificial turf.
An exact attendance number is not known, but many seats were filled at the Brandt Centre Friday morning for the annual indoor Remembrance Day service.
Old, young, and ages in between were there to show their respects and say thank you to our veterans.
One of the many teenagers in attendance was 18-year-old Master Warrant Officer Eric Zhang of #2370 10th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Army Cadets Corps.
“Remembrance Day is a big ceremony in Canada. So, you know, it’s important to come out here to show your respect,” Zhang said.
Zhang accompanied MLA Laura Ross in laying down a wreath at the base of the cross. This is Zhang’s fourth Remembrance Day service as part of the cadets and is an aspiring RCMP officer.
Older generations were well represented too, which included former lieutenant colonel Bob Cade.
“We owe it to those that died and our veterans who are still alive,” Cade answered after being asked what Remembrance Day meant to him.
Cade played an important part in the festivities, leading the parade of veterans’ onto the floor before the 11th hour arrived.
Cade explained he was part of a brigade in the 1950’s when NATO was formed and “Russia was expanding their influence.” He spent two years in Germany before the situation was resolved.
Standing a few feet away from Cade was current RCMP officer Michael McGinley.
“My grandfather was in the Second World War, as many grandfathers and grandmothers were, my dad was in the army and then he joined the RCMP for 25 years,” said McGinley.
McGinley added it is important we remember not just the fallen, but all those that have served.
When it comes to serving his country, McGinley has an extensive background with eight years of service with the Royal Navy and 20 years with the RCMP.
McGinley explained he will be spending the day with other members of the RCMP along with his family.
“We might raise a glass to fallen comrades today.”
Victoria Park ceremony
Meanwhile, another Remembrance Day ceremony was held in Victoria Park.
A few thousand people were on hand as members of the RCMP, Police, veterans and members of the reserves and cadets gathered around the cenotaph. The last post was played and then a moment of silence.
Wreaths were laid down at the bottom on the cenotaph by the City of Regina, the federal government and many other organizations.
Hugh Pineault was at the ceremony with his son and daughter.
“They have to know what happened in the past and how blessed we are to be free today.” Pineault said.
Carrie Strathy’s dad was a veteran of the Korean War and was happy to see so many people out at the event.
“It’s really nice to see so many people out here today. I know there’s a ceremony elsewhere but the outdoor one is really the one that means the most to me because that’s what I started doing when I was a kid, going to outdoor ones.”
After the ceremony, people were asked to pin their poppies to the cenotaph as an act of remembrance.
– With files from Britton Gray