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Regina Rifles hold Remembrance Day ceremony at Sask. War Memorial

The Royal Regina Rifles held a Remembrance Day ceremony in Regina, complete with service and a 21 gun salute over Wascana Lake.

REGINA — The Royal Regina Rifles parade marched in on slush and snow to begin a first-ever Remembrance Day service at the provincial war memorial in the Queen City, to celebrate and honour those who have fallen in combat for Canada.

The Nov. 11 service, which was open to the public, included a reading of In Flanders Fields and the playing of “The Last Post,” followed by a moment of silence.

Federal, provincial and municipal representatives each laid a wreath at the foot of the memorial, alongside individuals for the Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Regina Rifles Association.

The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute from Regina’s 10th Field Artillery Regiment, part of the 38 Canadian Brigade, heard in the close distance over Wascana Lake.

The Royal Regina Rifles host a Remembrance Day ceremony each year, but is the first time it has taken place at the memorial, which is the only provincial war memorial of it's kind in Canada.

The Saskatchewan War Memorial commemorates all of the Saskatchewan men and women who have fallen while in service with the Canadian military. It includes the names of more than 11,000 individuals, as well as dedications for both World Wars, the Korean War and peacekeeping operations. 

A specific plaque also memorializes the Royal Regina Rifles, the infantry division first formed in 1905 and headquartered in the Queen City, and the 450 soldiers who fell in battle during World War II. 

The Rifles were one of many regiments that participated in the Allied Forces’ landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kyle Clapperton, commanding officer of the Rifles, said the decision to gather at the provincial memorial this year felt like the right choice, as it represents the long history of the Rifles and the whole of Regina.

“I think it’s very poignant for the Regina Rifles to be here, and also for the community of Regina,” said Clapperton. 

“This is important hallowed ground, with the names of all the soldiers from Saskatchewan that have fallen in battle through World War One, World War Two, Korea and even Afghanistan,” he continued. “We have a great memorial here and it's an opportunity to remember those who have served our community.”

Clapperton said he was pleased to see so many members of the community brave the winter weather to attend the ceremony.

“We have a very strong, proud military history in Regina, and that’s what we’re here to remember today,” said Clapperton. 

The Regina branch of the Royal Canadian Legion also held a Remembrance Day ceremony in the city, welcoming the public to attend a service and wreath-laying at the cenotaph in Victoria Park, which honours the Regina citizens who have perished in combat since the First World War.

The ceremony concluded with the Royal Regina Rifles exit parade, with the 21-gun salute over Wascana Lake heard in the background. / video by Larissa Kurz