• Martin Zeilig

Remembrance Day Service 2022

A diverse crowd of about 1500-2000 people were in attendance for the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the RBC Convention Centre on November 11.

The ceremony was sponsored by the Joint Veterans Association and the Joint Veteran Parade Committee.

Among the civilian and military dignitaries in attendance were Colonel Aaron Spott, 17 Wing Commanding Officer, Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Stephen Brown from the CAOC at 1 Canadian Air Division, Anita Neville, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba, the Honorable Heather Stefanson, Premier of Manitoba, His Worship Scott Gillingham, Mayor of the City of Winnipeg, and the Federal Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honorable Dan Vandal.

The Very Reverend Paul N. Johnston, Minister at St Andrews Presbyterian Church, delivered the address. Padre Captain Paul Gemmiti from 17 Wing did a reading of the sacred scripture.

“Across this great country and throughout the world, Canadians will take a moment today to honour our brave fighting men and women, who for many years have underwritten our freedom by their duty, their honour, and their selfless service,” Captain Valerie Rousseau, the Master of Ceremonies, said.

“We recognize that all of our veterans have given a part of themselves to this country; some have given it all, laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we cherish deeply.

“This year we recognize the 25th anniversary of the Red River Floods, the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the Balkans, the 80th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid, as well as the 105th anniversaries of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and Battle of Passchendaele.”

Col Spott noted that this was his first Remembrance Day at the Convention Centre, even though he’s lived in Winnipeg for many years.

“I was very impressed with the organization and turnout from all the veterans’ organizations in Winnipeg,” he said.

“It was a respectful, energetic and well put together ceremony.”

Sqdn Leader Brown, who’s on a NATO exchange program, said it was an absolute honour and privilege to represent the RAF at the ceremony, and recognize the veterans and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s a real privilege to be here and lay a wreath on behalf of the UK and RAF,” he added.

Louise Brown, his wife, said it’s always an honour to escort her husband anywhere in his uniform, especially to a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Meanwhile, Stuart Murray, the Honorary Colonel for 17 Wing, was impressed with the strong message about service to one’s nation that was delivered by the presentation by the Very Reverend Johnston.

“Today, I thought the notion to remind people that why we have freedom is to recognize those men and women who have sacrificed themselves to allow us to have the freedom we enjoy today,” Hon Col Murray said.

“It’s something we can never ever forget.”

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