Many still gathered on Wednesday morning to honour our veterans while wearing masks and keeping socially distanced.
Even though the ceremony was condensed and safety restrictions were in place, the appreciation towards veterans was very much the same.
“I’m surprised by the number of people that came out on a day like this,” said 99-year-old Pete Lewko, a veteran who served in Germany during the Second World War. “It just shows that they’ve got respect for the people who did serve”
Wayne King, veteran and branch service officer with the Royal Canadian Legion Stewart Branch #4 in Lethbridge, said despite this year’s ceremony being unusual, the appreciation was still felt.
“Nonetheless, I feel it extremely important that we as Canadians remember the sacrifice of all of those Canadians during war, as well as the years since in preserving our way of life and preserving the benefits we have under democracy,” King said.
Glenn Miller, veteran and communications spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Legion in Lethbridge, said COVID-19 restrictions prevented a few traditions from happening, including one of the flyover ceremonies.
“Traditionally 429 City of Lethbridge Bison Squadron is granted Freedom of the Skies by the City of Lethbridge and fly over the cenotaph, due to COVID-19 the 429 Squadron was unable to be present from their home base of Trenton Ontario,” said Miller.
However, Miller said local pilot and Lethbridge resident, Geoffrey Brayne was able to step in this year by flying his Harvard Mark Four training aircraft, which is the same model that was actually used to train pilots during the Second World War.
“There was a connection with Wayne before, one of our members in the legion, actually flew that airframe, so to have it fly over today, connected directly with someone on the ground and as always has reminded us that people among us have flown those aircrafts,” said Daniel Gosselin, a member of the poppy campaign with the Royal Canadian Legion in Lethbridge.
Sandy Scheldrup, Galbraith Elementary School principal, was at the ceremony commemorating her father who was an Air Force pilot during the Cold War era.
“Major Clancey Sheldrup was a member of the Royal Canadian Armed Forces for 26 years and as a daughter, it was amazing to travel around the world and to be so proud to be a Canadian and to represent Canada to every country we went to,” Scheldrup said.
“I am beyond grateful and gracious that today we continue to remember people that have died for our country and it’s so important to keep that message going,” she added.
Sheldrup said she is beyond proud of her father and to be a part of the Royal Canadian Armed Forces Family.
Major Scheldrup was killed in 1985 when his plane went down during a night touch and go exercise. His daughter said he died doing what he loved in honour of the country he called home.