Remembering the ultimate sacrifice, a couple hundred people marched together Sunday to honour our veterans. The sixth annual Military Church Parade gave thanks to armed forces members in a non-denominational prayer service at the Prince George Cemetery.
The parade procession included members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43, air and navy cadets, and first responders.
Vice President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43, John Scott, says this event marks the beginning of Veterans’ Week to honour not just those who have fallen, but the ones who continue to fight each day. “We have many wounded, many people who actually survived, and some of them are suffering from post-traumatic stress,” he said. “There’s all kinds of wounds that last for a lifetime and these people deserve a little respect for it.”
Community members gathered to lay down wreaths and place poppies on the cenotaph. Member of the Air Cadets, Sam Sommerfeld is placing an emphasis on getting his younger generation more involved each year. “We need the younger generations, we need people to get interested, and we need people to know what they’re doing to honour veterans for the future,” he said. “If we don’t raise people now we won’t have anyone for the future.”
Scott agrees that this service is big lead-up for festivities on Remembrance day this Friday. “If you don’t remember, the sins of the past will come back to pay you, it will happen again so that’s why we believe in remembrance.”
It’s especially impactful for local resident, Colleen Fitzpatrick. Her son Darren Fitzpatrick passed away six years ago after his convoy was hit by a roadside bomb west of Kandahar City in Afghanistan.
She’s now honoured as the Silver Cross Mother for Remembrance Day ceremonies in Ottawa this Friday. Colleen will represent all mothers and Canadian families who lost loved ones in service of their country. “It’s very inspirational if I think of many family members who lost loved ones,” she said. “I think of those sons and daughters that are currently serving and those veterans that have served and come back and are forever changed.”
A Remembrance Day service open to the public is scheduled for this Friday at 9 a.m. at the Civic Centre. A parade will take place afterwards to the cenotaph at the Prince George Cemetery.