Beavers, Cubs, Scouts pay respects at Field of Honour

·3 min read

Dale Woodard Lethbridge Herald

It was three days later and there was still some snow to trudge through, but local youth were able to honour fallen veterans.

A group of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts gathered at Mountain View Cemetery Wednesday morning to lay down painted rocks and poppies in the resting places of veterans in the Field of Honour in celebration of Aboriginal Veterans Day.

The annual memorial day, in recognition of Aboriginal contributions to military service, particularly in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, was Sunday, but due to last weekend’s blizzard was bumped to Remembrance Day.

“We’re out here to honour the veterans and to help give support to the Cubs, Beavers and Scouts, who had previously donated their time and effort in painting rocks with poppies,” said Glenn Miller, co-chair, public relations for the Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch #4.

“The kids have a number of poppies they put on sticks and on rocks. They’re spreading out the total amount they were able to do this year, thanks to the sponsors from the community, throughout the different Fields of Honour. Because of the weather they’ve had to dig out some of these headstones. So they’re taking their time as they dig them out to read the names, and just by reading that name is an act of remembrance and I’m sure the soldiers down below appreciate it.”

Standing at the resting place of Private George Strangling Wolf, Miller spoke to the bundled up Beavers, Cubs and Scouts of Strangling Wolf and Driver Albert Mountain Horse, two Blood Tribe soldiers who suffered gas poisoning in the First World War.

Mountain Horse was en route home to the Blood Reserve and died in Quebec of tuberculosis as a result of the gas poisoning.

Mountain Horse is buried on the Blood Reserve and his death played a part in having Strangling Wolf be returned to Canada so he could recover from being gassed.

“Albert was the first one to enlist and was gassed,” said Miller. “He was on his way back to Canada to convalesce and died en route, so he never made it home.

“Because of Albert’s circumstance they were trying to prevent another person who was gassed badly from dying on the way home.”

Among the Scouts on hand for Wednesday’s ceremony was Alex Holley of the 15th Lethbridge Scouts group.

“(We’re out) to celebrate and remember the people who fought in World War 1 and World War 2 and wars that have happened after and before that and to remember them. It’s really important to me because I’m in Cadets and I think it’s very important to remember the people who fought and not repeat history.”

A few hours later at the Cenotaph at city hall, the annual Remembrance Day ceremony took place with a smaller crowd due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Daniel Gosselin, who served for 36 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, both as a member of the Canadian Airborne Regiment and as a member of the Royal Canadian Electrical Mechanical Corps, also noted the importance of continuing to teach younger generations the importance of honouring all veterans.

“I come from a military family and I can think back to the days when I was a young Cub attending ceremonies and, as time went on, I went from a young Cub to a Cadet still attending Remembrance Day ceremonies,” he said.

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Dale Woodard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald