Hundreds gathered across Grande Prairie to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice at two Remembrance Day ceremonies Saturday morning.
Residents gathered at the cenotaph in Jubilee Park for the Army, Navy & Air Force Veterans Unit 389 ceremony and parade while Bonnetts Energy Centre saw civilians and veterans gathered for the Grande Prairie Legion #54’s ceremony.
Local Afghanistan veteran and former Corporal James Cosgrove laid a wreath on behalf of Afghanistan veterans at the Legion’s ceremony. He says while the day can be somber, seeing the community supporting veterans gives hope to those who served.
“This is a very emotional day for a lot of veterans. Taking a look at all the people that were here, it was a really good service, and I’m thankful that there’s so much support in the community.”
“It’s very meaningful when the community does come out and support people on remembrance day to show that they’re grateful for what these guys have gone through,” he adds.
Cosgrove notes that he appreciates the number of young people and local cadet corps that helped out with the service, saying it’s important for younger generations to understand the sacrifice Canadian Armed Forces members make.
“Having that recognition of our past and what’s happened in the World Wars, the Korean War, Afghanistan, it gives them an understanding of what’s going on in the world and be thankful for what we have in Canada and living in a free country.”
Additionally, Cosgrove says Remembrance Day does not end for many veterans, as they are forced to think about their past every day, and he says it is important for civilians to recognize those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“A lot of people come out and they spend their one day a year, they have the ceremony and they’re thankful for what we have, but for some of us, we think about it daily. Remembrance Day is one day a year, for veterans and guys who served overseas, We think about our buddies and situations we would’ve been in, so for us, it’s every day of the year that we think about it.”
Public activities are scheduled throughout the evening at the Grande Prairie Legion, until 5 p.m. including hot lunch and award ceremonies.