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'World peace starts in the home': Kamsack Remembrance Day service

"We remember those who stepped up in their generation in the past and gave the ultimate sacrifice," said Rev. Stephen Ruten. "We call out their names. Otherwise we can forget. We respect the memory of those who died, so we call out their names in remembrance."

KAMSACK — In terms of wrongdoing, a person who takes another’s plate of food at a dining table is no different than a country taking over a neighbouring country, Rev. Stephen Ruten said during the Remembrance Day service held at the Victoria School in Kamsack on Nov. 11.

Held under the auspices of the Kamsack branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, the service included Gordon Craig as parade marshall and Sgt. at Arms; Karen Tourangeau, Legion branch president; Rev. Stephen Ruten, chaplain; members of the Kamsack air cadet squadron under command of Lt. Karen Tourangeau; members of the Kamsack RCMP; the Kamsack Community Choir under the direction of Susan Bear, and a school band under direction of Darren Kitsch. Also performing were: Deb Cottenie at the piano; Kyler Kitsch, bugler, and Keri Lindsay, the piper.

The service began with the entrance of the parade of Legion members and cadets, the March on of the Colours and the singing of O Canada.

Ruten read the Honour Roll, which included veterans of The Key, Cote and Keeseekoose First Nations in addition to the names of deceased Kamsack veterans. Following the playing of The Last Post, two minutes silence and the playing of Reveille, Tourangeau recited the Act of Remembrance which was followed by Legion members answering with: “We will remember them.”

Rev. Nancy Brunt delivered the opening prayer and those assembled sang Nearer My God to Thee, which was followed by Ruten calling out the names of 48 groups and individuals that had wished to lay wreaths of remembrance at the front of the auditorium.

The school band performed Jupiter, the choir sang In Flanders Fields, Rev. Brunt read scripture and Ruten presented his Remembrance Day message.

The dynamics of a person at a table are very similar to what happens when someone leads his country to try to take over another country, Ruten said, describing how a man had once sat across from him at a large celebration meal and then launched into insults, telling him that he had no respect for him.

The incident reminded Ruten of what the Bible had said about Jesus: “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate.”

“I chose not to replay with even a word,” Ruten said. “Suddenly, he did something that was a total surprise. He reached across the table, took hold of my plate of food, pulled it toward himself and started eating off it.

“I had never met this guy. He had seen me speaking in public that day, so he had an idea who I was. This was turning into an unforgettable first meeting. Later, when I was leaving, I saw him in the parking lot, in the middle of a big crowd, involved in a fight.

“He had been spoiling for a fight. He had reached across to take what did not belong to him. It was my plate. He was starting small, but on his way to bigger things in the parking lot.

“In terms of wrongdoing, taking a plate that doesn’t belong to you is no different from taking a country that doesn’t belong to you. It’s just smaller scale. A leader marched his forces in to take over a country next door that did not belong to him. And once he got away with that, Adolf marched his forces into the next country, and then another and another.

“If the man across from me had gone up and down the table taking plates belonging to four or five people, the cry might have risen right away: ‘Will someone please do something to stop this crazy guy?’

“The police did eventually arrive to deal with him outside. People and countries did get together to stop Hitler; it took the allies six years to stamp out Hitler’s 1,000-year vision of making the world into a giant Nazi prison camp.

“We’ve heard names today; some who stepped up to stop Hitler, some who stopped other nations and their leaders in different times and places from taking over countries, like a man would reach across the table to take someone’s plate.

“Let’s remember the names we heard.

“And we know this sort of thing keeps happening; people and nations grab what doesn’t belong to them. What that man did in grabbing my plate wasn’t qualitatively different from a leader this year trying to snatch what he considered a delicious dish called Ukraine. He tries to punch their lights out in order to put what doesn’t belong to him onto his plate.

“But the brave country, Ukraine, punched back and, with a little help from friends, hasn’t been pulled across the table as easily as my plate was manhandled years ago. May their friends remember them and not get distracted from helping.

“We remember those who stepped up in their generation in the past and gave the ultimate sacrifice. We call out their names. Otherwise we can forget. We respect the memory of those who died, so we call out their names in remembrance.

“Fighting devastates individuals and families and leaves a terrible legacy. Please don’t leave a personal legacy of fighting,” Ruten said.

After describing a fight between a couple concerning which hole a mouse had escaped to, Ruten asked if other quarrels are less ridiculous than that.

“Let’s make our contribution to world peace by stopping the fight, the quarrel, we’ve had with someone who comes to mind. World peace starts in the home, at the table.”

Ruten concluded by quoting Romans 15:33: “Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

The choir sang I Have a Dream, Ruten delivered a closing prayer and everyone rose to sing God Save the King.

Two Kamsack air cadets had accompanied each of the persons who had laid wreaths on behalf of the following persons or groups:

  • Government of Canada;
  • Government of Saskatchewan;
  • RCMP;
  • Town of Kamsack;
  • the Fallen of Afghanistan;
  • Peacetime Veterans;
  • Kamsack Hospital and Nursing Home;
  • Eaglestone Lodge;
  • Duck Mountain Ambulance;
  • Kamsack Firefighters;
  • Kamsack Comprehensive Institute;
  • Victoria School;
  • Youth of Canada;
  • Cote First Nation;
  • Chief Gabriel Cote Education;
  • Keeseekoose First Nation;
  • Keeseekoose Chiefs Education Centre;
  • Third and Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus;
  • King Solomon Masonic Lodge;
  • Parkland Shrine Club;
  • Royal Canadian Air Cadets No. 633;
  • Mrs. Gladys Bishop Smith;
  • Walter Cazakowski;
  • St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Catholic Church;
  • Kamsack Museum;
  • Kamsack branch of Legacy Co-op;
  • the Woodward family;
  • James, Jack and Lawrence Rudd;
  • the Falkiner and Bourgeault families;
  • War Amps Canada Operation Legacy;
  • Lam’s Rstaurant;
  • Claude Hollett;
  • Andrychuk Funeral Home;
  • Wolkowski Funeral Service;
  • Walter Nicholas Rezansoff;
  • Hiawatha Chapter of the Eastern Star;
  • Francis, Tom, Judy and Loretta Hovorka;
  • Walter Crocombe; George Njegovon;
  • Wayne Delance;
  • CUPE No. 5430;
  • Barry Golay;
  • Westminster Memorial United Church;
  • Robert Lucier;
  • Olive Ritchie;
  • Don Hollett;
  • Weinhandle family;
  • the RM of Cote, and
  • the Kamsack branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.