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Grande Prairie honours National Flag Day with special ceremony

For the first time in three years, an in-person ceremony was held as Grande Prairie military veterans, police officers, firefighters, rangers, and cadets came together to lay down and pay respects to more than 400 retired and worn-out flags as part of National Flag Day at the Grande Prairie Cemetary.

Oliver’s Funeral Home Director Chris Clements says the idea for the event came about during a conversation between a Legion member and staff in 2016. He says it’s always a special day to help put together and it means so much to those who come to pay their respects.

“You have these all people come out and support it just give pride to what we do right and to live in the country that we live in because you see these people and they care. They are passionate about their country, their flag, and the freedom that we have; that is a privilege that we have to honour.”

Clements says as the years pass by, it’s becoming tougher and tougher to get as many veterans to the ceremony as they have had in years past, but they will do everything in their power to involve them in a meaningful way.

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“It’s a good community event to let the people come together and socialize and to respect the seniors that have been in the military. We don’t have this many anymore but all the Legion members that come out, it’s really good it’s a good opportunity to connect.”

Included in the 400-plus flags were Canadian flags, Province of Alberta flags, as well as flags from the City of Grande Prairie, and a couple of the local school boards.

Grande Prairie RCMP Constable Terrance Monks says showing respect for the flag is an important time for the community to come together.

“I think it’s very important that we get together in this way as a community and you know people always have that kind of question like, ‘what do you do with a flag?’ and so it’s nice events like this take place, that our flag is taken care of properly because they are a symbol of our country and I know for me they are very important,” he adds.

National Flag Day is marked every February 15th.

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