Cold not a barrier for Regina residents on Remembrance Day

Regina residents had no problem braving the cold to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph in Victoria Park.

Even as temperatures hovered around -17C at 11 a.m. – and felt like -27 with the wind chill – hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects on Friday.

They stood in the central square of the park and on the sidewalks, and when these were full, they stood on the snow-covered grass.

Some children even climbed over snowbanks to try to get a better view of the last post rang.

Hundreds turned out for the Remembrance Day ceremony at Victoria Park in Regina, despite a wind chill that made it as cold as -27. (Alexander Quon/CBC)

Some attendees of the ceremony, which lasted around 45 minutes, said the freezing cold was only part of the experience.

“I walked from my home near Balfour School to get here… and I’m like, you know what? It’s not as bad as what our World War I veterans [experienced]who were so close to those other trenches, and who had bullets over their heads,” Ken Pilon said.

“I can make this little sacrifice.”

Ken Pilon said the freezing temperatures in Regina were nothing compared to what veterans experienced during the First World War.
Ken Pilon said the cold in Regina was nothing compared to what veterans endured during the First World War. (Radio Canada)

Pilon said members of his family had served in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Like Pilon, some attendees said they came for personal reasons: to commemorate a family member or loved one who died serving their country.

Others said they had no personal connection but were just there to pay their respects, fulfilling a duty they had not been able to for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

Carolyn Welder and her husband, Gary Welder, said they weren’t bothered by the cold.

“It doesn’t matter how cold it gets. It’s little compared to the discomfort soldiers felt when fighting in those wars,” Carolyn said.

Gary Welder and Carolyn Welder's son served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a combat engineer.  They believe in honoring those who have served.
Carolyn and Gary Welder’s son served in the Canadian Armed Forces as a combat engineer. They believe in honoring those who have served. (Radio Canada)

The couple said members of their extended family served in both World Wars and their son served as a combat engineer for four years. He even deployed to Latvia.

“It’s really important to honor all who serve and recognize that the peace we have in this country we wouldn’t have without their sacrifices,” Carolyn said.

Brad Hrycyna, a retired major who served 37 years in the Canadian Army and as a reservist, is now president of the Royal United Services Institute in Regina.

He enrolled after graduating from high school. Military service was never a family tradition, but it was a way for him to serve his country, Hrycyna said.

brad hrycycna
Brad Hrycycna spent 37 years as a regular and reservist member of the Canadian Armed Forces. (Alexander Quon/CBC)

On Friday, he thanked those who came.

Participation in Remembrance Day ceremonies is important, he said, “not only for the more than 118,000 of our military personnel who have been killed in wars and conflicts in Canada, but also for those who have served in peacetime or served in wars and came back alive.


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