The sun came out Monday morning to shine on the local veterans, cadets, and members of the public taking part in a ceremony to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. It was held at the cenotaph in Jubilee Park and included a colour guard parade, remarks from Grande Prairie city council and local religious leaders, as well as the laying of a weath and two minutes of silence at 11 a.m.
The ceremony was held on the same day as Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, which was also marked by a national commemoration ceremony at the Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa. Commanding Officer of the Grande Prairie Cadets Scott Hagarty says it was a humbling experience to be a part of the day locally.
“I have sworn allegiance to Her Majesty multiple times. Being able to be part of this and honour her traditions and what’s she’s done for us is quite an honour.”
The event drew a crowd, despite it not being a holiday for most people in the city. September 19th was declared a National Day of Mourning in Canada, but was only designated a holiday for the public service of Canada.
Hagarty says he hopes that people reflect on Queen Elizabeth as a true example of a public servant, pointing to her service as an ambulance driver during WWII and as the longest-serving monarch in British history.
“She was born into it and accepted that and she gave her whole life to the service of her people. I’m just in awe at her and what she did for the Commonwealth and her people and her family and all the ups and downs of her reign… I think she is the role model. If I were to think of the definition of leadership, I would think of her.”
Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8th at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years. Flags that have been flying at half-mast on all federal buildings, as well as municipal ones in the City and County of Grande Prairie, are expected to be raised at sunset on Monday, marking the end of Canada’s official period of mourning.