Legion celebrates Remembrance day

Past Legion president Lil Anderson hopes to reach young people with the message

Lillian Anderson displays poppies at the Quesnel branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Lillian Anderson displays poppies at the Quesnel branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

The Quesnel branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is celebrating Remembrance Day this Friday.

Festivities will be underway at the Legion office, starting with the parade at 10:30 a.m.

The parade will arrive at the cenotaph at around 10:55 a.m. where the bugler and duty piper will take their post and O Canada will be sung.

“There are prayers and the ringing of the church bells,” past president Lillian Anderson said.

“Following that, at noon, we have a church service in the hall,” she added.

The church service will include a very moving ceremony.

“We have this cross and as they call out each deceased veteran’s name, a light goes out,” Anderson explained.

After the church service, the lounge will be opening for a lunch provided by Save on Foods.

“Their staff have voluntarily prepared the food and will serve it,” Anderson said adding that this is the first year they have had the food for their lunch donated.

Anderson is expecting around 200 people to join at the Legion, but said that number has been dwindling in past years.

“Usually the Ladies Auxilliary makes samosas and serves cheese and crackers,” she explained.

Save on Foods store manager Neil Guardiero is happy to be able to recognize veterans in our community.

“I think it’s important for our staff to be able to recognize our veterans,” he said.

At 4 p.m., there will be a dinner for veterans.

The Legion starts selling their signature poppies during the last week of October and keep selling until Nov. 10.

The poppy campaign helps veterans who would otherwise not be able to attend.

“I feel that Quesnel is very supportive of the poppy campaign,” Anderson said.

“It’s the only way we can support veterans.”

Last year, the poppy campaign in Quesnel made more than $28,000 and Anderson estimates between 6,000 and 7,000 poppies were sold.

Anderson, who’s husband spent six years overseas during the Second World War, joined the Ladies Auxiliary 25 years ago.

At that time, veteran’s wives were not yet allowed to join the Royal Canadian Legion.

As for the modern services, fewer and fewer vets are alive to celebrate, but the message is still relevant.

Anderson would like young people especially to pay respect to veterans who have helped Canadians live freely.

“A lot of young people don’t know how lucky they really are,” she said.

Festivities will begin at 10:30 in front on the Legion building and are open to the public.