Sylvan Lake’s annual Flags of Remembrance ceremony was cut short last weekend after an anonymous threat was called in to RCMP.
Each year, Sylvan Lake-based Veterans Voices of Canada has organized flag ceremonies with 128 flags representing Canada’s 128,000 killed and missing. The first ceremony was held in Sylvan Lake in 2014 and it has now spread to communities across Canada, including Lacombe this year.
Sylvan Lake’s ceremony began at 11 a.m. in Centennial Park near the town’s waterfront.
“The troubling part of today was having to shut it all down because of a threat from an individual who anonymously called the RCMP stating they were going to run a vehicle through the crowd and cause harm to the people who took their time to attend our ceremonies today in Sylvan Lake,” wrote Veterans Voices founder Allan Cameron on Facebook.
“This could have gone a totally different way, but I thank the RCMP for acting on this, letting us know in quick time to clear the field of bystanders and participants. This is another reason why our military and first responders are so important and we appreciate them so much.
“They can dampen our ceremonies, but really no more than what a light mist does. They’ll never dampen our collective spirit of gratitude, thanks and remembrance.”
Cameron said this year’s ceremony also paid tribute to the nearly 160 responders who have fallen victim to the after-effects of 9/11 as well as all of the Canadians who served and sacrificed in Afghanistan.
“It was a day of honouring our peacekeeping heroes, and the so many others including first responders who serve Canada.”
Similar ceremonies were held in Sydney, N.S., Windsor, Ont., Dunnville, Ont. and Philipsburg, Que.
The flags will remain up until Nov. 12.