The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59 Moose Jaw hosted a Decoration Day Service this past Sunday at the Rosedale Cemetary to honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Those involved in the service included representatives from 15 Wing Moose Jaw, RCMP, Saskatchewan Dragoons, 38 Brigade, ANAVETS, Moose Jaw UN-NATO Veterans Group, 40 Snowbirds Air Cadets, Navy League Moose Jaw, 99 Assiniboine Sea Cadets, Moose Jaw Army Cadets, Knights of Columbus, and various government representatives.
Roy LaBuick is Branch 59's past president and chairman of the Decoration Day Service.
"Our service for Decoration Day, the Legion has been hosting it for many years," he explained. "Our Decoration Day basically started June 2 back well over 100 years ago, where the veterans of the day were trying to let the government know that there should be benefits for our veterans who are injured, who sustained any kind of wounds in service for their country. It was kind of a protest day going back a long time ago. Of course, the Legion here in Moose Jaw has been doing a Decoration Day for well over 40 or 50 years or more honouring our veterans who served their country, sustained wounds, injuries, that sort of thing."
LaBuick noted the service was held at the Rosedale Cemetary because that is where the majority of veterans are laid to rest.
"There are veterans of course out at East End, the Moose Jaw Cemetary, and at Sunset Cemetary, which we had crews go out and plant flags on all the veterans' graves out there previous to Sunday's service. We had felt that with over 1,100 veterans that are laid to rest in Rosedale Cemetary, we thought that really should be the fitting place to have the main service this past Sunday and going forward to honour those veterans."
In addition to laying wreaths during the service, flags were planted in front of veterans' gravesites.
"We had numerous volunteers come out at 9:30 a.m. to help plant flags," added LaBuick. "There had to have been somewhere around 40 to 50 people that came out to help lay flags on Sunday. Then they all stayed for the service as well. Some people came because they did have family members that were laid to rest there who were veterans and they wanted to lay a flag there...It's truly a site to be at Rosedale to see all of the Canadian flags throughout the veterans' area and throughout the rest of Rosedale to see all those Canadian flags and we couldn't have done it without the help of the folks at the City of Moose Jaw for making sure that the grounds were all cut and looking very good and they just did a great job. We couldn't be more pleased with the help from the city on this day."
LaBuick talked about the importance of remembering those who served our country in the past, present, and continuing into the future.
"Our veterans are a very important pillar of this country," he commented. "The community should remember on a daily basis that they're out there every day, defending our country. Whether they're stationed here at our Wing in Moose Jaw or they're on the other side of the world on a ship, wherever. It's something that we shouldn't take for granted when it comes to our veterans and getting them the help and the support that they need and showing our support for us as a Legion is a daily thing. It's great to be involved."