News Local

Remembrance Day observed

Greg Vandermeulen


The P.W. Enns Centennial Hall in Winkler was near capacity as Remembrance Day Services were held. Hosted by the Winkler Veterans Association, the event featured the Last Post, Moment of Silence, The Lament and Reveille, Act of Remembrance and the reading of the honour roll and laying of wreaths.
Esther Heinrichs presented “In Flanders Fields and Pathway Community Church Pastor Rob Haslam delivered the message, focussing on the role of the World War II chaplains.
Quoting a story he explained that chaplains visited the sick, wounded and incarcerated, celebrated mass and administered sacraments, and offered religious instruction. But they were also a big part of life at the front lines, and were encouraged to forge friendships with military personnel.
He told the story of Captain Foot, a regimental chaplain with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry who went ashore at Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942.
He found himself assisting the regimental medical officer in ministering to the wounded, and carrying personnel from the open beach under heavy fire.
“On several occasions this officer had the opportunity to embark but returned to the beach as his chief concern was the care and evacuation of the wounded,” he said. “He refused a final opportunity to leave the shore, choosing to suffer the fate of the men he had ministered to for over three years.”
Foot went on to accept the Victoria Cross for his conduct at Dieppe.
Haslam quoted John 15. “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” he said.  While Haslam said Jesus’ example is not easy to imitate, he said it’s worthwhile to think about it more deeply.
“Most of us will never be called on to put our lives on the line as our veterans and those who we remember today have,” he said. “But as citizens and residents of Canada we all have a calling to model some of that selflessness in our own way.”
“We all have a duty to create communities that are safe and where people can live their best lives,” he added.
Haslam said we can all honour that sacrifice and service when we donate our time, money and gifts to our community, when we take our citizenship and the rights and privileges we have seriously, and when we believe that our world, our country and our community is so precious, so beloved, so full of potential that it’s worth giving our very best.
“Today we are thankful for all the men and women who serve our country; we remember and give thanks for those who lost their lives in service to our country,” he said. “And we honour them by seeking to model some of that selflessness; by looking outside of ourselves, beyond our own needs, to build a country and a world where all people can live their best lives in harmony and peace.”