On Nov. 11 2017, people of all backgrounds gathered at the Badlands Community Facility in Drumheller to remember the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers abroad.

CenotaphDrumheller Sea Cadets standing guard at the Cenotaph

The ceremony, organized by the Drumheller branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, was hosted by Drumheller Legion President Burt Cote. Ahead of the event, he admitted that putting together his first Remembrance Day ceremony was stressful.

"[We're] trying to get everything set up and get all the colour parties arranged and trying to get the Legion ready because it's a big day for us. It's the volunteers that did most of the work, I just oversee it and make sure everything's good and write speeches and get everybody organized."

The Drumheller branch of the Sea Cadets were a big part of the event. Nearly the entire corps attended the ceremony and were put to work standing guard at the Cenotaph and carrying and laying wreathes for a variety of groups of Canadian veterans (World War I, World War, II, Korean War, Afghanistan, Peacekeepers).

"We've got Scouts here and we've got RCMP," said Cote. "We've got Pen guards, and so many different uniforms out there from people that fought different wars. It's really nice to see all the good dress out here."

The event featured a presentation by former DVSS teacher Lynn Hemming who brought a group of students to Vimy Ridge in April on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Mayor Heather Colberg prepared a speech and Legion member Ed Laplante read an Honour Roll of Drumheller men who lost their lives in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Cote explained that Nov. 11 is a day of celebration, as well as remembrance.

"I think 'celebrate' is a word we can use today, because we have so much to celebrate -- 100 years of Vimy, 100 years of the Battle of Passchendaele. It's a day of sorrow, but if it wasn't for the loss, we wouldn't be celebrating Canada's 150 birthday and the proud nation that we are."

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