BY ZACHARY CORMIER
It was a day of remembrance for members of the Royal Canadian Legion Lacombe Branch No. 79 last Friday as about a dozen people gathered in the veterans’ section at Fairview Cemetary to honour some of Canada’s forgotten war veterans.
“Everybody remembers to come to November 11th, when we honour our veterans who were killed overseas. We need to realize that so many of our veterans did come home, and they kind of get forgotten on Novvember 11th. So this ceremony is really to remember the veterans that fought and came home and have since passed away,” said Susan Churchill, the president of the Legion’s Lacombe branch after the special Decoration Day ceremony.
The half-hour long service included laying wreaths by the main cenotaph in the veterans’ section and the placing of a small Canadian Flag on each veteran’s headstone in memory of their service to their country.
“We do the flags because these veterans, their main thing is they fought for our country and we as Canadians can never forget what they have done. We always lay a wreath at every function, just to remember,” Churchill said.
This is the third year that the Lacombe legion has celebrated Decoration Day, which in Canada was originally celebrated on June 2nd, 1890 as a form of protest for veterans of the Battle of Ridgeway.
Feeling that their contributions to the protection of Canada during the Fenian Raids were being overlooked by the government, the veterans placed decorations at the Canadian Volunteers Monument in Toronto on the anniversary of the battle.
Since then, the annual ceremony, celebrated on the weekend closest to June 2nd, has been somewhat overlooked by the majority of Canadians because of the popularity of Remembrance Day, which is a national holiday.
“We as citizens of Canada must never forget the sacrifices that all veterans have made for our country,” said Churchill during the ceremony.