As is the norm for Bashaw, the Royal Canadian Legion was overflowing with people taking in the annual Remembrance Day service.
“At this time of year, we would need a building three times the size of our Legion and it still may not be big enough to hold everyone,” explained Bashaw Legion president Bev Gallagher.
Specifically, the ceremony took aim to several anniversaries for 2017 — this country’s 150 years of existence, the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the fact that the Bashaw Royal Canadian Legion has reached 90 years of age.
“This year is something very special with all three of these anniversaries,” Gallagher stated.
It’s that last number that Gallagher hopes will continue to keep growing, and judging from the support Bashaw and area resident keep showing, its future is bright.
“Legions are still helping and there are still veterans out there that need our help. It’s at this grassroots level that are keeping the Legions alive and the community support Bashaw shows how important the people feel this organization is.”
She noted there have been many big city legions that have succumbed to low membership, attendance and sponsorship, but feels that better community support in rural areas is why places like Bashaw can still maintain operations.
“It’s that attitude of people pulling together and looking after things that makes smaller places different,” Gallagher said.
“Our young people and school students have been made very aware of what our veterans have done and it’s pushed some of them as they grew older to become a part of the legion. As more and more veterans have to pull out, they are being replaced in small communities which allows legions to keep up their work, and in Bashaw that support continues to be great.”
That being said, there is more that could be done, such as how Holland has really embraced the ‘No Stone Left Alone’ program, where youths place poppies on the gravestones of soldiers lost.
“The youth actually have to compete with each other for the headstones of Canadian soldiers,” she noted.
“That’s impressive and denotes the importance they place on how they achieved their freedom.”