BY JENNA SWAN
Courtesy of the Sylvan Lake News
The third annual Veterans Voices of Canada Flags of Remembrance ceremony is set to take place in Sylvan Lake on Oct. 1st at 11 a.m. with a change in location.
Flags of Remembrance, a Veterans Voices of Canada run initiative, sees more than 100 Canadian flags erected for two weeks in honour and tribute of the men and women of the Armed Forces.
Traditionally held alongside Hwy. 11, east of Sylvan Lake, this year’s event will instead transpire on the property of Meadowlands Golf Course.
Executive Director of Veterans Voices of Canada, Founder of Flags of Remembrance and Sylvan Lake resident, Al Cameron explained he is pleased with the new location for the ceremony.
“The ceremony won’t be right on the highway, so it will be safer. Then the next day we will place the flags alongside Highway 11,” said Cameron explaining this keeps attendees safe and off the highway. “The ceremony is going to take place right next to the driving range at Meadowlands. We have everything we need including parking right there.”
The local ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. with flags being raised simultaneously across the country at noon sharp in Sylvan Lake, Edson, Ponoka, Okanagon Valley, Kingston, Ottawa, Riverview, Charlottetown and also Cameron’s hometown of Sydney, Nova Scotia.
“The enthusiasm about the flags across the country has just blown me away,” he added. “You sort of half expect it when you dream of organizing these things but to see it happen and to feel the support is another thing entirely. It really has blown me away.”
On Monday morning, Cameron was well on his way to Sydney where he will be on Oct. 1st. He will participate in the inaugural flag raising ceremony for his hometown’s Flags of Remembrance ceremony and have the chance to watch with his mother.
Cameron is looking forward to seeing the flags in other parts of the country. Following his stop in Sydney he will be journeying to Riverview, Kingston and Ottawa to see the flags in other locations. On his way back to Alberta, Cameron has a number of stops where he will be continuing with veteran documentation.
“As I’m going along I’ve been documenting my trip on facebook. People have seen my posts and have been contacting me saying they have veterans here and there for me to document,” said Cameron, adding he is excited to get back on the road interviewing veterans and doing what he loves. “This is part of my dream right here.”
Following his return to Sylvan Lake, Cameron will be right back at it with the opening of the Veterans Voices of Canada and Bonavista Fine Arts partnership to showcase the organization’s military memorabilia and propaganda poster collection. The art show will feature a variety of prints and posters from wartimes on display, as well as local artists restoring a number of propaganda posters from Cameron’s collection. No date has currently been finalized for the art show but Cameron expects it to be in the last week of October.
Cameron wished to extend the opportunity for those who have yet to sponsor a hero plaque to do so. Sponsorships will stay open for hero plaques at locations across the country until Oct. 13th offering individuals the opportunity to honour their hero with an engraved maple leaf plaque to be hung on a flag pole. Cameron added they hope to see a hero plaque on each one of the poles.
Flags of Remembrance serves as Veterans Voices of Canada’s primary fundraiser. All monies raised through the Flags of Remembrance is used to fulfill the mandate of the organization – interviewing veterans, transcribing interviews, burning and disseminating DVDs and helping local organizations plan and manage their Flags of Remembrance celebrations. In locations where Veterans Voices has teamed up with a local non-profit organization, local funds raised are shared evenly between Veterans Voices of Canada and that organization.
To sponsor a honour plaque and flag, email firstname.lastname@example.org.