Members of the Hazeltons community gathered on the banks of Skeena River last Saturday to honour those who have fallen in service of their country at the annual Remembrance Day service.
A crowd of people, young and old, met at Inlander parking lot before marching to the cenotaph at Bastion Park.
Wayne Askew, master of ceremonies, introduced Capt. Robert Sessford who led an opening prayer.
“I was quite honoured when I was asked to come and MC,” said Askew. “It’s a chance to be part of reflection, appreciation and gratitude for the people who have given up their lives for us and for our freedoms.”
Remembrance Day hits close to home for Askew as both his parents, his paternal grandfather and all of his uncles on his father’s side, served in multiple wars.
“Remembrance Day means to me to contribute to letting [the next generation] understand why we wear a poppy, why we celebrate Remembrance day,” Askew said. “I firmly believe if it were not for what Remembrance day stands for … we wouldn’t be able to celebrate any of the other statutory holidays … because it’s given us the freedom to speak as we wish, the freedom to worship as we wish the freedom to live as we wish.”
After a closing prayer from pastor Danny Morris attendees were encouraged to go to St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall for food and refreshments.
Chris Gleason, a member of Tahltan nation, said he was touched by the ceremony and was amazed at the past generations willingness to put aside their differences to work together.
“Regardless of race, creed, religion, everybody had a purpose and that was for their freedom,” he said.