Calgarians brave frigid temperatures, snow at Remembrance Day ceremony

It was cold and snowing lightly, but more than 2,000 people still turned out for a Remembrance Day ceremony in Calgary.

CALGARY — It was cold and snowing lightly, but more than 2,000 people still turned out for a Remembrance Day ceremony in Calgary.

Many older veterans were unable to brave the weather. Their special VIP seating area was mostly empty as a light dusting of snow gathered on neatly folded blankets placed on each seat.

The event at The Military Museums, which is the largest Remembrance Day ceremony in Calgary, attracted about 10,000 last year.

Federal Employment Minister Jason Kenney said this year’s ceremony was particularly poignant given the loss of two Canadian soldiers on home soil last month.

“Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo knew that when they first put on Canada’s uniform they were declaring their willingness to give up their lives for our country — and for our country’s constant struggle for freedom against tyranny,” Kenney told the shivering crowd.

“This is why they were targeted by an ideology of hatred and violence.”

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice said it is important to remember those who have lost their lives by living “fully, freely and justly” in the future.

“Over the last century, we have had more examples of sacrifice: in the Second World War, the Korean War, in peacekeeping missions around the world, in the Balkans and in Afghanistan,” Prentice said.

“This year, through acts of violence within our own borders, we have seen once again that tragedy — and sacrifice — is not confined to history.”

Michael Hornburg, who lost his son Nathan in Afghanistan in 2007, was moved by the strong turnout despite the weather. He said the snow and a wind chill of -25 C somehow seemed appropriate.

“I was really glad we had just a slight bit of discomfort. It made it very poignant for me and memorable just to think about all the sacrifices the men and women have had to put up with,” Hornburg said.

Canadians are more aware about what Remembrance Day is all about since the Afghan conflict and, more recently, after the deaths of Cirillo and Vincent, Kenney suggested.

“What happened in Ottawa last month gave today’s remembrance ceremonies a special poignancy. I believe that there was a period where we were drifting away from active remembrance of our military history and the sacrifices of our war dead,” he said.

“I think we see a really profound renewal of that remembrance — not just in the turnout at these things, but (in) events that are happening at shopping malls, businesses and schools.”

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Lower price discounts to boost Q1 oil profits but uncertainty hangs over sector

CALGARY — Lower discounts on western Canadian oil prices have swollen producer… Continue reading

Local Sports: Hard training pays off for Red Deer runner Jared Howse

Jared Howse understands success doesn’t come easily. The 17-year-old has put together… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Most Read