With Remembrance Day only two days away, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe spent Wednesday honouring those who have served Saskatchewan and Canada in war.
Moe joined members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Saskatchewan veterans for the annual Service of Remembrance, where the public and the government can pay tribute to those who have served in times of war.
“Today we honour those who served and continue to serve our country,” Moe said. “This service shows our commitment to never forget those who fought and still fight for our freedom and safety. For them we are eternally grateful.”
During the service, Moe laid a wreath at the Saskatchewan War Memorial, located just west of the Saskatchewan legislative building.
The memorial lists the names of Saskatchewan’s fallen soldiers from the First World War, Second World War, the Korean War and those who have served in peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan.
“In two world wars and in Afghanistan, Canadians were not fighting to defend our nation from a direct attack,” Moe said. “In those wars, thousands of Canadians travelled halfway across the world to defend the freedom of others. How many of us would do just that today?
How many of us would risk everything to fight on behalf of people we have never met?”
While the speech focused on heroes of the past and present, a special acknowledgment was also made for those who have been affected by the war in Ukraine.
Specifically, the life of one Saskatchewan farmer who has been killed fighting in Ukraine.
Joseph Hildebrand, a 33-year-old from Herbert, Sask. served with the Canadian military in Afghanistan, and recently passed away serving in Ukraine.
His family was notified by other members of his unit.
“He was a good man with strong values who stood up for what he believed,” said Joseph’s third cousin, Clayton Hildebrand, on Tuesday.
Hildebrand said his cousin was with 12 other soldiers and only three of them made it back alive after an attack around the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.
“Joseph was a true Saskatchewan hero,” Moe said. “His decision to take up arms once again to defend Ukraine was a remarkable demonstration of courage and selflessness.”
— with files from the Canadian Press.