Hundreds remember at Red Deer ceremony

Hundreds of people crowded into the Red Deer Arena for Remembrance Day services on Wednesday while scores more gathered by the cenotaph on Ross Street. Retired colonel Andrew Moffat, a veteran of the Korean War and career soldier for 32 years, said between 60 and 70 people, including about a dozen veterans, joined the downtown service.

Members of the Korea Veterans Association Unit 67 Red Deer salute as Lindsay Thurber High School student Chris Windrim plays reveille during a Remembrance Day ceremony attended by the veterans and members of the public on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people crowded into the Red Deer Arena for Remembrance Day services on Wednesday while scores more gathered by the cenotaph on Ross Street.

Retired colonel Andrew Moffat, a veteran of the Korean War and career soldier for 32 years, said between 60 and 70 people, including about a dozen veterans, joined the downtown service.

In an unexpected move, everyone at the outdoor service formed a row afterward and began exchanging handshakes, said Moffat, who was overwhelmed to see so many people attend.

The small crowd included a group of 15 to 20 high school students who provided a bugler to play The Last Post and Revielle.

The service was held at the cenotaph for the first time in recent memory because the members of Korean Veterans Association of Red Deer believe that the cenotaph is the most important symbol for veterans in Red Deer.

The group has been lobbying the city to move the statue of the unknown soldier, erected after the First World War, to City Hall park, said Andrews.

Such a move would make the statue much more accessible to people at all times, Moffat said after the service.


Ceremony at the Red Deer Arena


While those who oppose the move have argued that the arena is more comfortable, Moffat counters that the national service on Parliament Hill is held outdoors, at a venue that was not designed for the number of people who attend.

The KVA’s position concerning the cenotaph has been supported by the local branch of the Royal Canadian, but turned down by the City, he said.

City planners have recently stated that cenotaph’s placement, looking into the railway station fom which so many soldiers shipped out, has historic value. Plans are now underway to build a park adjacent to the cenotaph once construction is finished on the neighbouring office tower.

A few blocks away, parking lots were filled and seats at the Red Deer Arena were overflowing by 10 a.m. as people gathered for the 11 a.m. service.

Among those seated at ice level was Métis elder “Miss Cora” Fedyk, who laid a wreath on behalf of Métis veterans.

Fedyk’s father, Reuben Blondeau, was a sniper in the First World War. Her first husband, Ernie Boyer and all three of her brothers, Eddie, Walter and Louis volunteered for the Second World War. Of her three brothers boys, only Eddie and Walter came home.

Louis was the mischievious one, full of fun and always getting into some sort of trouble, she said.

Often as not, their dad would drop Louis off at school, only to get a call later that he hadn’t showed up for class. He would simply slip away, unnoticed.

Since the war, Fedyk, 79, has been a stalwart supporter of the Royal Canadian Legion, serving a term as president of the Claresholm Legion in the mid-70s before moving with her second husband to Red Deer.

She was pleased to learn that, this year, a small group of veterans would travel to Juno Beach Centre in France to take part in a Remembrance Day service and dedicate a memorial honouring the contributions of Métis people to Canada’s war effort.

Fedyk said she has noticed a growing number of people attending services in recent years, with the only significant change being that there are fewer and fewer veterans.

As part of this year’s service, Rev. Don Lewis read the names of 34 veterans who have died in the past year.

Throughout the ceremony, a slideshow played portrails of the new generation of soldiers who have been deployed to Afghanistan along with scenes of their units at work.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

Keaton Wildeboer, of Lacombe, participates in the Westerner Championship Dairy Showcase at Westerner Park on Thursday. More than 150 cattle will be on display at the event, which continues until Saturday, carrying on a tradition started in 1954. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall begins in Red Deer

Western Canada’s first dairy showcase since last fall is currently being held… Continue reading

Car thief opening stolen car doors. 
(Black Press File Image)
Idling vehicles attracting thieves, RCMP warns

About one-third of stolen vehicles left idling unattended

Police reveal a collection of drugs, cash and guns seized in an April 2016 bust. One of the men charged was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday.
Advocate file photo
Red Deer man sentenced to 27 months for role in “dial-a-dope” operation

RCMP Priority Crimes Task Force broke up drug operation in April 2016 after four-month investigation

Red Deer RCMP say a 30-year-old man faces sexual charges against a teen. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP’s downtown traffic stops lead to charges

Two traffic stops conducted by Red Deer RCMP officers on bike patrol… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

New York Giants' Evan Engram (88) tumbles after trying to leap over Philadelphia Eagles' Cre'Von LeBlanc (34) as Josh Sweat (94) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)
Carson Wentz rallies Eagles to 22-21 win over Giants

Carson Wentz rallies Eagles to 22-21 win over Giants

North Carolina State safety Jakeen Harris (6) tackles Virginia wide receiver Terrell Jana (13) during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va. Jana's last name doesn't appear on the back of his Virginia Cavaliers football jersey as a tribute to enslaved labourers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, The Daily Progress, Erin Edgerton
Canadian receiver Jana’s name missing from jersey to honour enslaved labourers

Canadian receiver Jana’s name missing from jersey to honour enslaved labourers

Tiger Woods hits from the 11th tee during the first round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Munoz in the lead and Woods with his worst score at Sherwood

Munoz in the lead and Woods with his worst score at Sherwood

The national anthem is performed ahead of the inaugural soccer match of the Canadian Premier League between Forge FC of Hamilton and York 9 in Hamilton, Ont. Saturday, April 27, 2019. Canadian Premier League champion Forge FC takes on El Salvador's CD Municipal Limeno in a CONCACAF League preliminary-round match Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett
Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary-round game in El Salvador

Forge FC scores late to win CONCACAF League preliminary-round game in El Salvador

NHL cancels 2021 Minnesota Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend

NHL cancels 2021 Minnesota Winter Classic, All-Star Weekend

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2020, file photo, Mariah Bell performs her senior women's free skate program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C. When U.S. skaters and a few foreigners training in this country kick off the season at Skate America this weekend, it could be a rare opportunity to display their wares. So they will relish the chance to get on the ice for competition, knowing that two Grand Prix series events and the Grand Prix Final have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and prospects of national and word championships being held are uncertain.(AP Photo/Lynn Hey, File)
Skate America opens shortened, coronavirus-impacted season

Skate America opens shortened, coronavirus-impacted season

Kang, Song share lead in LPGA Drive On Championship

Kang, Song share lead in LPGA Drive On Championship

Vegas Golden Knights' Alec Martinez (23) is checked by Vancouver Canucks' Jake Virtanen (18) during first period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on August 23, 2020. The Canucks have signed Virtanen to a two-year contract with an average annual value of US$2.55 million. Virtanen had 36 points and 41 penalty minutes in 69 games in the 2019-20 season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Forward Jake Virtanen signs new two-year deal with hometown Vancouver Canucks

Forward Jake Virtanen signs new two-year deal with hometown Vancouver Canucks

Most Read