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Centennial of the poppy observed at Weyburn’s Remembrance Day ceremonies

Remembrance Day ceremonies were virtual for a second year

WEYBURN - A virtual Remembrance Day service was observed by the Weyburn branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, with local dignitaries speaking and laying wreaths at the front of the Legion Hall.

The service was broadcast on AccessNow’s community channel and live-streamed as the entirety of the ceremonies took place in the Legion Hall.

The 100th year of the poppy as the symbol of remembrance was marked, with the Legion president Tara Neuberger expressing the wish that the significance of the red flower will continue and won’t be attacked by those who may take offence to what it stands for.

She made note that local artist Regan Lanning and a couple other artists had set up a field of 100 ceramic poppies around the cenotaph across the street from the Legion in observance of the anniversary of the flower’s use as a symbol.

She opened the ceremonies by noting that many young men and women put their lives and dreams on hold to serve their country during the First and Second World Wars, including their plans and hopes to get married and start a family.

This year's War Mother representative, Frieda Lillejord, was introduced on stage by chaplain Marj McLeod.

Yvonne Jones, representing MP Robert Kitchen for Souris-Moose Mountain, related how he had been struck by a work of art depicting a couple with young children at an idyllic location, while underneath were the bodies of soldiers holding that soil up. These were soldiers who had given of themselves so families today could know peace and love in their lives.

Weyburn-Big Muddy MLA Dustin Duncan noted that there are many ways Canadians would mark this day, by attending services like this one, or by sharing stories of family members who served this country in wartme.

“There will be lots of quiet moments, of bittersweet moments, thoughts of ‘thanks, Dad’,” he said.

Mayor Marcel Roy commented that as the years pass, he sometimes thinks that younger generations sometimes forget about what happened years ago, such as the battles at places like Passchendaele and Ypres in the First World War, or the Battle of Britain or the Battle of the Atlantic in the Second World War.

Legion member Jerry Ponto read out the names of individuals and businesses who sponsored wreaths and the Legion’s Poppy Fund, including stories of some of the people being remembered for their contributions.