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Rama remembers with heart-felt Remembrance Day events

A number of prominent local residents laid wreaths at the Remembrance Day Service at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine to remember the fallen.

RAMA - Everyone had the opportunity once again to gather in person at Rama's Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes to honour and remember the fallen heroes who fought for our freedom. The participants met at St. Anthony's Church prior to the service and proceeded to the cenotaph at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine led by Cst. Clayton Sawatsky of the Canora/Sturgis detachment of the RCMP. Wreaths were placed by Cst. Sawatsky, representing the Government of Canada; Louis Swiderski, honouring our fallen heroes (one being his uncle, Louis Swiderski); Mayor Phillip Shewchuk, representing the Village of Rama; Elaine Olson, representing St. Anthony's Parish, and Roger Genoway, representing the RM of Invermay.

After the service, all were invited to the Rama Golden Jets Centre for a delicious hot lunch prepared by the Club members. A short program took place after lunch with Mary Kowalyshyn reading the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae. Elaine Olson read a poem written by John Zelinski (a long time Club member) which is a reply to the poem In Flanders Fields.

Jasmin Kowalyshyn, a student at Invermay School, shared her poem which took first place in the Junior Poem Contest, a poetry category sponsored by the Canora Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion. Christine Dyky, Golden Jets President, closed the program expressing thankyous to all who participated and took time to remember this very important day.

As a side note, it was on the eve of the Second World War that Fr. Anthony Sylla, parish priest of St. Anthony's Church, summoned his parishioners that very evening asking that they haul their fieldstones so that a grotto could be built to have a place to pray for peace in the world. A cenotaph was constructed on that site, Rama’s Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, to honour and remember those who did not return, making a sacrifice for our country and freedom.

The following is the award-winning poem written by Jasmin Kowalyshyn.

Standing at the Cenotaph

“Standing as still as she could be,

“The little girl stood there just to see

“One large grave before her eyes

“Wishing her father was still alive.

“Bloodshot, blurry eyes now staring into space

“With tears streaming down her face

“She shakes her head, thinking it was a mistake,

“But then everything falls into place as her body started to ache.

“Her father was shot during World War II

“And now there is nothing she can do.

“She stands there quivering, thinking it through,

“Finding the conclusion she had to come to.

“She hadn't come to this point before,

“Now her heart is left drained and sore.

“She wraps her arms around the grave where her father will now lay,

“Hoping to see him again some day.

“She stands up tall as can be,

“But in her mind there was only one thing she could see.

“She could only think of her father in her head

“But now she has to realize he is dead.

“Her heart is now split in half

“While standing at the Cenotaph.

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