The sound of laughs, coffee being poured, and boots stamping out snow could be heard at The Transcona Legion on Sunday. Their annual Remembrance Day ceremony brought both Legion members and people of the community down to commemorate.
The event room had a capacity of 180, but roughly 75 people attended the event.
“We always hold the same service, but this year we were unlucky with the weather. It’s not as full as it usually is,” said the President of the Legion, Cam Wortman.
The Legion members all wore uniforms and had a sense of camaraderie between them, sitting together and talking like old friends.
Wortman explained that he, along with the other members in attendance, were not veterans, but their fathers were. Due to the weather, the veterans who are substantially older, chose to only attend the march that was later in the day.
The walls of the room were covered in plaques of past members, and there was a tiny bar decorated with christmas lights that sold caesars and beer. At the front of the room was a framed picture of the Queen, a Canadian and British flag, and a wooden cross. Wortman started the ceremony by having everyone sing Oh Canada. The buzz of old and young voices stirred up a heartfelt tribute. This was followed by a prayer, read by Celeste West, the 1st Vice President of the Legion.
West then read out the names of Legion members who died during the past year, and Wortman placed a poppy on the cross for every name. After this he read a letter from Stephen Harper, and followed that with a moment of silence. Celeste then initiated God Save The Queen, which only the older people in the room sang along to.
“Thanks for coming out, the bar is now open,” said Wortman. A few laughs emerged from the crowd, and with that, the 15 minute ceremony was finished.
Kids began to examine the cross, people mingled light heartedly, and the games room was open with tea and free raisin bread.
Remembrance Day is a day of commemoration, but doesn’t have to be a sombre affair.