Hundreds of people braved the sub-zero cold to pay their Remembrance Day respects at Old Hazelton on Tuesday in a ceremony that made special tribute to soldiers killed in Ottawa and Quebec last month.
With poppies worn over their hearts, a big crowd gathered near the cenotaph at Bastion Park for the ceremony and parade on the banks of the Skeena River.
Members of the R.C.M.P. and Scouts Canada marched from the Village of Hazelton office to the cenotaph, where they were met with the solemn sounds of the bugle playing The Last Post.
In addition to the minutes’ silence and the singing of O Canada and God Save The Queen, the ceremony also included a number of recitals and sermons.
Reverend Bart Metcalf, one of several church leaders who addressed the crowd, said this year’s Remembrance Day was especially significant after fatal attacks on Canadian soldiers Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent in Ottawa and Quebec last month.
“On this special Remembrance Day let us not fail to remember those who stood in the way of hatred and violence, who gave so sacrificially of themselves in order that we might have the freedoms we so richly enjoy today,” he said.
After the sermons, Gitxsan women performed an honorary song before the laying of the wreaths took place.
District of New Hazelton Mayor Gail Lowry and Stikine MLA Doug Donaldson were among those who laid wreaths.
R.C.M.P. Officers also removed the poppies from their hats and placed them at the cenotaph.
After the ceremony, Gitxsan drummers provided entertainment at a public gathering at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church Hall.