West Kelowna Remembrance Day ceremony

Barry K. Proud salutes after placing a wreath on behalf of the Kelowna Naval Veterans Association at a standing-room-only Remembrance Day ceremony Monday at West Kelowna’s Royal LePage Place.

It was standing room only inside Royal LePage Place in West Kelowna on Monday as more than 2,000 people came to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom at the Remembrance Day ceremony organized by the Westbank Legion.

Multiple generations came, such as Lynette Wickman, who brought her three granddaughters, aged four, five and 10.

Tara Walters brings her daughters Mati, 12, and Alice, 7, every year so they can understand and remember what others have done so they can have the life they have today.

“We got a lot of rights because people went to war to fight and some of them gave their lives. It’s very important to come and respect them for what they did and remember the people who did that,” said Mati.

Pastor Ed Skutshek spoke on the theme of true patriot love as he read a touching letter that Walter Dowden, a 25-year-old Canadian soldier, wrote to his parents the day before D-Day.

While Dowden survived D-Day, he was shot and killed three days later.

“I am a part, however small, of a great force, which in the months to come will bring the war in Europe to a great and victorious conclusion,” Dowden wrote, adding any fear he felt was overrun by curiosity and the will to fight and win.

Skutshek said we needed to hear Dowden’s voice from the past with his passion for his nation, his family and friends as Canada is still in a world that needs change and has a destiny to be peacekeepers.

The ceremony ended as the crowd rose to their feet and applauded as the veterans in attendance left the floor of the arena.