Veterans, their families and those who just wanted to say ‘thank you’ attended Remembrance Day services Friday at two locations in Penticton.
The traditional venue in the auditorium at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre was once again packed and as well, several hundred people were at the outdoor service at Veterans Memorial Park.
This was the second year at the downtown location at the treed lot on the north side of the provincial court building.
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“About three yeas ago after we completed the restoration of the park here there were some people coming to the Cenotaph to conduct their own services so we decided to see if we could organize something a little better,” said Robert Horkoff, Dominion Vice President of the Army, Navy Air Force Veterans who has worked over the years to make the park what it is today. “We had a number of requests, some of them from veterans, who were accustomed to outdoor services and it’s been received quite well. I think the two services really augment each other, it gives the city an option.”
Members of Penticton Fire Rescue, the RCMP and a number of other organizations were represented at both locations.
Horkoff doesn’t believe the weather is a big factor in Remembrance Day services, noting: “I was told is that the colder, the wetter, the drearier the better but of course we end up having a nice sunny day like today. And the veterans like that too.”
The tall granite obelisk that is the Cenotaph was erected in 1920 by the Great War Veterans’ Association as a First World War memorial to which plaques were later added to honour Second World War veterans.
Since then three levels of government and private donors have given over $100,000 that has been used to make a number of improvements.
The park is consecrated under the federal war graves legislation and is a memorial to the people of Penticton who made the ultimate sacrifice.