It looked as though all of Trail turned up Monday for the Remembrance Day ceremony, when two minutes of silence was followed by a roaring plane overhead.
The crowd of nearly 1,000 people bowing in sombre at the Trail Cenotaph lifted their heads up to the sky when a single-engine aircraft cut through the sky.
The plane has been spotted over the years in Trail but the pilot remained a mystery to the Trail Legion, until this year when a source managed to find out that Brent Lee of Oasis is the man behind the classic military plane (Navion L17A).
“That was my own contribution,” he said from his home. “Nobody asked me to do it, I just did it on my own.”
It was certainly a nice touch to the ceremony that also touted song, prayer and the reading of the honour roll by May Batch and her grandson Sgt. Shane Batch.
It was the first time Miss Trail Cheyanne Friess has participated in the ceremony and she said she felt moved after reading “In Flanders Fields” with help from Trail Princess Emily Dawson.
“The emotion you get from everything is really impactful,” she said. “It really changed my views on it, and it just made me think wow they did that for us, that’s just amazing.”
Dawson was sharing a moment of reflection, too, as she is now the same age her grandfather was when he signed up to serve his country.
The personal connections keep people rooted to the importance of remembering and giving thanks, according to Rob Reilly, vice president of the Royal Canadian Legion Trail Branch #11.
He’s had his hand in organizing the local ceremony for at least 20 years now, ever since his dad got him involved.
“It’s really quite an honour to be part of it.
“I find it to be really an important time of year, both my mom and dad were both in the air force in the Second World War as well as Glenda’s mom was in the army and so we have a connection to it,” he said. “It’s important to us, it was important to them and we’d like to keep that going.”
But he said it’s not just about remembering those who’ve historically died in the line of duty.
“It’s our effort at the Legion to make sure that the young veterans coming back now, whether they’ve been to Afghanistan or whether they’ve just been serving other parts of the world, that they get the same recognition,” said Reilly. “Because they’re coming back the same way the Second World War guys came back, they were kids.”
Locals were invited back to the Trail Legion to enjoy entertainment that included the Trail Pipe Band and the Maple Leaf Band, which also took part in the ceremony.