Medicine Hat Remembers: Masks and poppies on, Hatters commemorate Remembrance Day

·2 min read

Remembrance Day looked quite a bit different this year, but the message stayed the same.

“We must never forget.”

Local Legion president Sheila Donner led 100-plus people through this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony, and made sure that message was clear for all of those in attendance.

“We need to honour our veterans and we need to need to think of them more,” she said. “Many of them have scars that you and I can’t see.”

Those in attendance needed to dress in warm clothes, due to snowfall and weather around – 10.

“It’s cold out, but what’s important is that we’re here,” said Donner. “The crowd here today shows that Canada does appreciate their veterans and the sacrifices they made.

“Sometimes we can forget about veterans in the hustle and bustle, but we need to be thankful.

“Seeing everyone out here today shows me that Medicine Hat remembers.”

The ceremony was modified compared to previous years, with those in attendance being required to wear a mask. Wreaths were placed at the base of the cenotaph before the ceremony started. At the end of the program, individuals representing different organizations took turns walking up to the cenotaph and wreaths to salute.

The program was streamed live to the Cook Southland Funeral Chapel Facebook page. It can be viewed there.

Rita Myson got the ceremony early and walked to the cenotaph to see her great grandfather’s name on the mural.

Myson retired as a master corporal in 2008 and was a cook for 22 years with the armed forces. Her great grandfather John Myson died at Vimy Ridge during the First World War.

“I come out every year,” said Myson. “I’ve been a member of the Legion since 2007.

“Today, for me, is about remembering what came before us. If you don’t remember what came before you, you’re doomed to repeat it.

“Canadians are known as peacekeepers, but we’re known as some of the fiercest fighters out there.

“People before us fought for the freedoms we enjoy today and today we remember that.”

Myson says a Remembrance gathering is especially important this year.

“There has been so much isolation,” she said. “It’s important to come together and to stand together in unity.

“If anyone is feeling isolated or lonely, they can reach out to us at the Legion.

“I just want Medicine Hatters to keep smiling because tomorrow will always be a better day if you keep smiling.”

Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News