Edmonton pays tribute to fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day at the Butterdome

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On Saturday, Nov. 11, the Universiade Pavilion, better known as the Butterdome, will be a living sea of red poppies as people gather to honour Canada’s fallen who sacrificed their lives to protect and serve our country.

The Royal Canadian Artillery Band led by Capt. Christopher Embree along with the Salvation Army Band start the Remembrance Day ceremonies with a musical prelude of sombre music at 10 a.m.

“The thing about Remembrance Day is that it means something different for everyone. For some where a recent event happened, it’s a time to reflect. For others it could be a grandfather or uncle who died in past wars and it’s a time to remember,” said Embree.

His grandfather, who served at RCAF Station Dunville in Ontario, was part of the Second World War British Commonwealth Air Training Program working on the ground.

“He passed away a few years ago and the Lament was played at his funeral. When I hear it now, it is the most stirring part for me.”

The 10-minute Remembrance Day musical prelude is followed by host J’Lyn Nye conducting opening remarks. At her closing statements, the varying contingents of military, reserve forces, scouts and cadets will march into the hall.

A short historical preamble and flag passing accompanied by the Edmonton Police Pipers Band is also part of the observance.

With the arrival of Lieutenant-Governor Lois Mitchell, the RCA Band plays the Vice Regal Salute, the first six bars of God Save the Queen sung by bombardier Lucas Denneboom. The lighting of the Peace Torch is next and a trumpeter will play Last Post at 10:58.

At exactly 11 a.m. the normally noisy arena stops for two minutes of silence and contemplation before the Edmonton Police Pipes and Drums play The Piper’s Lament.

The bugle call of The Rouse, known to most as Reveille, a reading of In Flanders Fields, and Rebecca Lappa singing her original song The Valiant of Vimy Ridge follows.

Dignitaries and veterans will lay wreaths, and as the ceremonies come to a close, the RCA Band will play a series of moving pieces as people file out of the Butterdome.

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Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.