Whether veterans themselves, family members of veterans or just those who wanted to show respect to our men and women in uniform, people in Regina showed up by the hundreds to the cenotaph in Victoria Park Wednesday morning for a Remembrance Day service.
Members of the army, navy, air force and police all marched throughout the park as bagpipes rang out. As the Last Post was played and then a moment of silence was held, many people in attendance used the service to reflect back on what it means to be Canadian, and the sacrifices that had to be made to make the country what it is today.
Wearing his shiny service medals for having been overseas on United Nations peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and the Middle East, Roy Greyeyes showed up to the park for the ceremony.
“To pay tribute and remembrance to the veterans and friends of mine who I served with overseas and abroad,” he explained.
“I come from a strong, traditional military family. We’ve had members in the service from the First, Second, Korean and Vietnam War, and present day of course.”
Serving the country is also in the blood of Navy Lieutenant Elizabeth Engel. She’s a member of the primary reserve as a cadet instructor, serving as the commanding officer of 43 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Impregnable.
“I have four grandparents who are all veterans, all served World War 2. [They’re] all deceased since then but this day is very special to me because I pay remembrance to them and the sacrifices that they made so that we could live a better life,” she said.
Not only does Engel use the day to reflect, she also uses it to reinforce to youth what it means to wear a uniform. She advocates for having more women join the Canadian Armed Forces.
“I think it’s very empowering when I see a lot more females and we are seeing a few more females join.”
As wreaths were laid around the cenotaph and the ceremony ended, the public was then invited to post poppies and other personal items to the cenotaph.
One man posted a picture of his late father, along with tobacco, on the war memorial. He then stood back, removed his hat and wiped tears from his eyes.
“It’s really for the memory of all,” he explained.
He said his father served in World War 2 and despite having teary eyes, he insisted he tries to think of the positive things his father accomplished.
“It’s a happy day. It’s a joyous day.”
Along with the ceremony in Victoria Park, the public also had the chance to pay tribute at a service held inside at the Brandt Centre.