Begin again, for He is making you new right now The spring of life is yours soldier, corporal, civil servant, civilian... This elixir is the act of letting go Allowing flow, Allowing true peace from the Prince of Peace. He was there at your beginning, And he will be there at your end He is making all things new. Starting now. With you. (Closing stanzas of He is Making All Things New, written by Margaret Macpherson, Resident Poet, Holy Trinity Anglican Church.)
On November 11, 2018, 100 years since the end of the First World War, members of the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment (SALH) and neighbouring Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches led a Remembrance Day Prayer Service at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Edmonton.
Gathered on the traditional territory of Treaty 6 and Metis people of Alberta, and seated below the Regimental Flag of the 19th Alberta Dragoons and the Regimental Colours and King’s Colour of the 101st Edmonton Fusiliers, a near capacity congregation of more than 550 people filled the church to honour, remember and pray for those who have served our country.
From their seats congregants looked upon a special display featuring replicas of the uniforms worn by members of the Canadian Nursing Sisters and soldiers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. One hundred red tulips, symbols of international friendship and peace, decorated the church sanctuary.
“On this day, and all days, our greatest act of remembrance to those who faced the horrors of war is to seek the ways of peace in all that we do,” said the Honourable Rachel Notley, MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona and Premier of Alberta, in her reflection.
“On this 100th anniversary of Armistice Day we have a duty to learn the lessons of war,” she said. “Peace is ours to cherish, to demand, to live and to create every day. We can create it in simple ways. We can reach out to our neighbours; make people who are unfamiliar, familiar. We can try to better understand one another. We can take the ideas we understand the least, or the perspectives we find the most difficult to adopt, and we can approach those perspectives in an open and respectful way. We may not always agree but when we disagree, it is with a family member, not the enemy.
“Finally, we can work to create equality amongst us all. Disparity is the enemy of peace,” said Premier Notley. “Disparity discourages opportunity and wealth, where equality invites it. Peace built on disparity is peace built on quicksand. Peace among equals is peace that lasts.”
During the ecumenical prayer service, Act of Commitment petitions were read, in German, by the Rev. Ingrid Dörschel and, in French, by Ms. Caroline Maillet-Rao. In response, the congregation pledged, in English, “to work for reconciliation between the nations and all people, that everyone may live together in freedom justice and peace.”
Troops from SALH, 6th Edmonton Scouts and 2nd Edmonton Pathfinders of Holy Trinity, and the 201st Endeavour Scouts, led a parade of hundreds down Whyte Avenue to the Cenotaph at Light Horse Park, 85 Avenue and 104 Street. Opening remarks were made by Staff Sgt. (Ret) Ken Hykawy of EPS. He invited the singing of “O Canada” by Edmonton Oilers anthem singer Robert Clark. The World War I poem Flanders Fields, written on the Belgium battlefront by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, was read by a young member of the 201st Endeavour Scouting Troop.
“We look forward to that day when the kingdom of this world will be ordered by God’s peaceable reign,” said the Ven. Dr. Chris Pappas, Rector of HTAC, who gave the opening prayer and Benediction. The ceremony continued with a bugler sounding the “Last Post,” followed by Two Minutes of Silence, the “Reveille” and bagpipe “Lament.” The Commitment to Remember was read by Premier Notley, one of several dignitaries who paid tribute by laying a wreath on the Cenotaph. The Armistice Day ceremony concluded with “God Save the Queen.” Before leaving Light Horse Park many people placed poppies on the wreaths in a final act of respect. Lest We Forget.