Lest we forget.

Those who made the supreme sacrifice during times of war will once again be honoured when Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76’ annual Remembrance Day service returns to the Meadow Lake Civic Centre Nov. 11. It’s the first time the ceremony will be staged at the civic centre since 2019 and before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The public should start to arrive around 10 a.m. or shortly thereafter, and the service itself will start at 10:15 a.m.,” explained Legion member Alloha Twanow who, each year, serves as emcee for the Remembrance Day ceremony. “It will be the traditional ceremony people have come to expect over the years, but there will be a slight change. Instead of having 50 people walk up to lay wreathes, we will have a large display of wreathes already set up in front of the stage. We will announce the contributors and those making donations in memory of various people. It should take about 15 minutes off the length of the overall program.”

Twanow went on to say she is looking forward to being back at the civic centre. In 2020 and 2021, the Nov. 11 service was held outside at the Cenotaph adjacent to the local Legion branch.

“It’s really nice to be back – we feel we will be able to reach more of the public this way,” she said. “I know a lot of the public stayed away the last two years because of the cold weather. It’s nice to be able to reach those people again.”

With COVID-19 restrictions a thing of the past and the threat of COVID not as prevalent as it once was, Twanow hopes to see a packed house of about 250 people at the civic centre.

“I’m really at a loss to say how many I expect this year,” she said. “It is very encouraging, though, to be back to our traditional ceremony.”

Twanow also spoke about the importance of Remembrance Day and of honouring the men and women who, to this day, continue to put their lives on the line for their country.

“My dad was a veteran and I’m fully aware there are not a lot of veterans around anymore,” she said. “We do, however, have peacekeepers who have returned, and we need to acknowledge them. We also need to remember they did volunteer their service. We have active members now and, again, they volunteered their service. Yes, they get paid to do their jobs, but they get paid to do a mighty risky job. We need to recognize that and show our respects.”

by Phil Ambroziak