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Memorial crosses recall Airdrian’s sacrifices

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Airdrie took one hour of the day on Saturday, October 30 to honor and remember the military veterans and first responders who sacrificed themselves for their country and their community during the parade and commemorative cross ceremony.

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The annual ceremony saw the participation of some 50 people, including local and provincial politicians, veteran family members and members of the public, laying crosses along Veteran’s Boulevard to remember the Airdrians who have gave their life.

Allan Hunter, National Service Officer with Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada (ANAVETS), hosts the parade and ceremony each year, and said he appreciates the community for their participation one more time.

“With covid and (the weather)… it was a very good participation. We had a number of family members of the deceased who were able to place crosses for their family members, so that was pretty special, ”said Hunter.

“For one of them, we put a cross in honor of their loved one, and in the end, they made a donation to the Calgary Veterans Association food bank,” he said. he declared.

Remembrance Day is an extremely important time of year for veterans and their families, as Hunter explained in an anecdote on the late Cpl. Jason Oliver, a Canadian veteran with family ties to Airdrie, who tragically committed suicide after battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in January of this year.

“He left seven children behind, so the most difficult funeral I have ever attended was this funeral, watching six of his seven children carry their coffin to the hearse,” said Hunter.

“When we let his widow know that we (had placed a cross for him), she was just upset that she had family and friends who had come to lay flowers on that particular cross,” a- he declared.

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“It really means a lot to people who have lost someone. We call them invisible wounds because he lost his battle against the demons of PTSD. “

Oliver enlisted in the Canadian Army in 2000, served overseas in Afghanistan, and sought help with PTSD since leaving service in 2007.

His PTSD was the result of the loss of two friends in the line of duty and two more suicides after the fact.

“When people support that stuff, it says, ‘we understand and we remember,’ Hunter said.

“We have had conflicts all over the world. When you got a guy carrying a cross on this field in the name of his fellow combatant that he left in Afghanistan, then to watch the people around him and offer prayers and be a part of it, just says we remember and we care, “he said.

“Despite the nonchalant efforts of the government of the day to look after our veterans, they understand and realize that there are people here who care about us. “

Although Remembrance Day is a day of the year, Hunter encouraged people to show solidarity with Veterans throughout the year.

“’We will remember’ is an action word, which means you really have to do something. There are veterans in difficulty and the wars do not end, ”he said.

“There are currently men and women in uniform standing guard for us, so we need to do our part at home to make sure they know, every day, that their service is not in vain. “


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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.