Local community members paused and reflected at 11:00 on Saturday in remembrance of Canada’s war dead.

Remembrance Day ceremonies took place in St. Paul, Bonnyville, Elk Point, and Cold Lake at the hour the Armistice ending the First World War took effect 105 years ago. 

Duane Fleming, president of St. Paul Branch 100 of the Royal Canadian Legion, was pleased to see more than 500 people turn out for the ceremony at St. Paul Recreation Centre.

“I think more people are realizing that it’s important to remember,” he said. “It’s important to come to these things because this is why Canada is free. This is why we’re able to enjoy the country we have—because of the sacrifices they made. And as Comrade Peter Bednarchuk mentioned, we have a lot of our servicemen died very young, before they could have families, before they could have children or grandchildren to remember them.

“And that is why we’re here at every Remembrance Day since. We are here because we are their family now, we will remember them.”

Indoor ceremonies in St. Paul and Elk Point were preceded by a march past the respective communities’ cenotaphs. The Bonnyville Legion held its ceremony outside of the Branch.

The Cold Lake Branch held its ceremony inside the Energy Centre with cooperation from the City of Cold Lake and participation from RCAF 4 Wing Cold Lake.

4 Wing personnel participated in ceremonies across the Lakeland, including a contingent from 401 Tactical Fighter Squadron that attended the St. Paul service. 401 Squadron, a descendant of RCAF No. 1 Squadron, enjoys an affiliation with the St. Paul Legion.

As always, the solemn ceremonies were followed by hospitality and comradeship in Legion halls across the region.

Veterans, RCMP, and military personnel were among those on parade in Cold Lake. 4 WING IMAGING
The assemblies came to attention for the marching on of the colour parties in Cold Lake. 4 WING IMAGING 

Lieutenant General (Retired) Paul Wynnyk was the guest speaker at St. Paul’s Remembrance Day ceremony.  Wynnyk, a Ukrainian Canadian, visited Canadian personnel deployed to Ukraine for Operation Unifier when he was commander of the Canadian Army in 2018. He said in his remarks that the Canadian training in NATO warfare tactics has contributed significantly to Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russia. JEFF GAYE
Vigil at St. Paul Cenotaph. JEFF GAYE
The assemblies came to attention for the marching on of the colour parties in St. Paul. JEFF GAYE

Elk Point conducted its traditional march past before the indoor ceremony began. BRIAN GANTON