Before Nov. 11 officially became Remembrance Day, Decoration Day was the time to remember war veterans.
Since this earlier ceremonial occasion was resurrected in Red Deer three years ago by the local Legion, a small Decoration Day service was held at the Red Deer Ceremony on Wednesday, the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.
Red Deer Legion Ladies Auxiliary president Lorraine Pillman feels it’s important to remember the sacrifice made by all veterans, of wars past and present — from the First and Second World Wars to the Korean War and conflicts in Croatia and Afghanistan.
Many soldiers, who fought for freedom and human rights, returned with trauma and health difficulties and the heavy knowledge that they left fallen comrades behind, said Pillman.
“It’s important to remember these veterans all the time, but our lives get busy,” said Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion president Hanes — all the more reason to come to a special service on the anniversary of the Allied landing in Normandy, which turned the tide of the Second World War.
A dozen Red Deer Legion members and a row of soldiers observed a minute of silence. They heard a poem written by a war veteran and a bag pipe lament, after planting Canadian flags on veterans’ graves at the Red Deer Cemetery.