CFOT | Staff – Cadets Remember Nov 2013
Today marked the commemoration of soldiers who fought fierce battles on the frontlines of war, in the interest of protecting rights and freedoms, primarily our right to freedom.
CFOT cadets and staff attended events from Portage la Prairie to multiple venues around Winnipeg. There was the large event at Winnipeg’s Convention Centre, to smaller venues including a Senior Citizen’s Home where veterans are remembered as they could not attend outside events. One of our cadets even played The Last Post and Reveille!
As thousands gathered at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, a collage of military service pictures, a white cross against a black backdrop illuminated by a light and a Memorial of soldiers who served in the Vietnam war, caused many to pause and try to capture the moments. Pipe bands and the Military brass band called us together as one community, with familiar tunes common to Sunday worship in any number of churches across the “Strong and Free” home we call Canada.
Captain Michelle Dagenais led the service and supporting the congregational hymns, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” and “I Vow to Thee my Country”, were the powerful and melodic voices of two military officers. A military cadet read “In Flanders Fields” for the ceremony of the passing of the torch, from veteran to current military personnel. The Reverend Dr. Bruce Miles proved to be a master orator as he engaged everyone with the moving story of his brother’s sacrifice when Dr. Miles was a boy of 15 years and his brother a young man of 22.
The traditional laying of wreaths ensued as fellow officers, families and community members paid respects by placing Remembrance wreaths at the base of the white cross. The service concluded with “The March Past”, a ceremony of military personnel (and the dozen Salvation Army officers and cadets present), who marched the perimeter of the hall. I suspect the conclusion of the event left many of us feeling a desperate desire to remember. Not just today, and not just in our thoughts. But to remember every day by embracing the gift of freedom blessing the greatest Country in the world; to make the sacrifice count by living ourselves, sacrifically, for the good of others.