The Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in Prince Albert on Thursday was short but meaningful.
The formal portion began at 11 a.m. with the playing of the Last Post followed by two minutes of silence. Prince Albert Legion President Rick Hodgson was pleased by the number of people in attendance despite the first snowfall of the year occurring the day before.
“We had a really good turnout, more than we expected for sure and everyone looked good and lined up,” Hodgson said. “The colours marched on good. It went well for our first time outside.”
The snow did mount a few challenges, making the Thursday’s service run a little longer than the year before. Hodgson said that was a small price to pay, especially when compared with the sacrifices made by Canadian veterans.
“We struggled through it like they did for us overseas,” he said.
“I just have to thank everybody that participated and helped us make it work. Things went really well.”
City Hall and Legion organizers arranged to have the Reveille played on speakers from the Prince Albert Arts Centre following the two minutes of silence. The Last Post was also played on speakers from the arts centre.
Grant Uraski MC’d the event, and read the Act of Remembrance and the Honour Roll of veterans from Prince Albert and area who have passed away in the last two years.
Wreaths were laid by the Silver Cross Mother, represented by Lise Malenfant, followed by representatives of the Royal Canadian Legion, ANAVETs and B Company North Saskatchewan Regiment. All other wreaths were laid in advance of the service.
Father Jim Kaptein closed the service with a reading from the Old Testament and a short prayer by retired past national Chaplin of the American Legion, Randy Cash.
“God our father, we gather this day to remember the sacrifices of the many men and women who fought for our freedom,” Kaptein said.
“We also remember that you alone rule the destinies of nations and that you have deemed that men and women should live in freedom and not fear. Awaken in us a new appreciation of our land, that we may apply ourselves to the great work of keeping alive that sense of freedom. Grant us your spirit as we honour those who have fought a good fight and finish the course.”
“On this day we remember those who served in far off places, that have laid down their arms to march to that land of eternal peace. We remember the suffering, the fears and the horrors that they endured.
“It is time for use to realize that much of our best blood has been spilled all over the world so that we may live free and unchained. May they who suffer wounds for peace, as well as their families who valiantly, silently also served, receive rest from their struggles and a well done from you the captains of their souls. Rekindle within us a flame of selfless, unwavering devotion that we may never be found wanting and earnestly employ your providential care as we face the grim and great tasks that lie ahead,” Kaptein said.
Ursaki got emotional as the service closed and he thanked the crowd in attendance.
“On behalf of all of the branches present we wish to thank you for coming out. It is gratifying, it means a lot to see how many of you there are. Thank you again,” Ursaki said.