A crowd numbering in the hundreds was on hand for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony held at the Rimbey Community Centre on Nov. 11 and most encouraging for veterans and legion members was the fact that many of the faces in the gathering were young.
“I thought it was great with good participation and many people that filled the centre. People still remember the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers in all the wars that allowed us to enjoy a good life in peace, and I hope that continues,” said Second World War veteran Michael Jarmoluk, who fought for his native Poland when war broke out. “For myself, I always cherish the sacrifices and will try to always remember for the rest of time but this is really gratifying and I hope the legion continues to promote what were doing. It’s very gratifying to see this. I think it was a great day and I hope we’ll keep working to promote peace in the world and hopefully we’ll see that day.”
The ceremony opened with the parade of colours, followed by the national anthem, the invocation delivered by Rev. Hugh Baines and the playing of the Last Post.
The traditional two-minutes of silence was observed at 11 a.m. followed by the presentation of wreaths.
Bordering on allowing his emotions to take over, Jarmoluk said he and his comrades greatly appreciated the support they received not only at the ceremony but especially during the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day.
“All the businesses were very generous that we sold the wreaths and poppies to, and I think the memories of those who were lost are to be preserved,” Jarmoluk said. “We’ve received great support from businesses and the response from all the people.”
Reflecting those comments was Herb Keith, president of the Rimbey Legion.
“I though the ceremony went off really great. It’s outstanding to see that many people come out in our community,” he said. “The support that we’ve received all through this campaign, which we grow used to over the years, but we thank the people very kindly for all the support they give us.”
In addition to comments from Rev. Deborah Laing of the Rimbey United Church, who read from 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9 and Isaiah 2: 1-5, the gathering also saw a video montage created by the students of the Rimbey Jr./Sr. High School that drove home the truth of war.
“The student’s display was really touching. It kind of brings home the horrors of the wars that we were in,” Keith said afterwards back at the legion, where he also commented on another large gathering. “We generally have a full house back here after the ceremony. It’s a time of fellowship and visiting, and that’s what we need.”
Also on hand for the ceremony were members of the Ponoka-Rimbey Air Cadet Society.