Remembrance Day is about remembering and honouring soldiers and other military personnel who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and democracy, but also about remembering we must never let tyranny rule, says the president of the Barrhead Royal Canadian Legion Branch 75.
"It's to important to remember that what has happened in the past can happen now because tyranny never takes a holiday," said Wade Zuk, who along with 50 to 60 area veterans and hundreds of supporters is looking forward to Thursday's Remembrance Day ceremony in Barrhead.
"The democracy and freedom we cherish in this country can be taken away by tyrants if we're not vigilant and remain vigilant."
Zuk, who was a corporal in the First Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters, Signals Squadron, Canadian Forces Base Edmonton, said his entire unit is making the trip from Edmonton to Barrhead to lead the 2010 Remembrance Day ceremonies.
"The Department of National Defense mandates military units participate in Remembrance Day ceremonies," he said. "Seeing I'm the new president of the Legion here in Barrhead, I asked members of my old unit if they could make it up here this year and they gladly accepted."
The Barrhead Legion has 200 members, with approximately 60 being veterans and almost all of them will be attending the Remembrance Day ceremony, said Zuk.
Only sickness and poor health can keep most veterans from not attending Remembrance Day ceremonies, he said.
This year's ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. sharp with the formation of veterans outside the Legion, he said.
The veterans and members of Zuk's former unit will then lead a brief procession to Barrhead Composite High School, where hundreds of students and members of the community will gather for a 45-minute ceremony, he said.
After this ceremony, the procession will then march to the Barrhead Cenotaph, located on Veteran's Way downtown near Freson's IGA.
The official "act of remembrance" will take place at the cenotaph starting at 11 a.m. marking the 11th hour of the 11th month, which is traditional on Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country, said Zuk.
Everyone in the community is then invited back to the Legion for a light lunch, he said.
Members of the public are encouraged to sit down with Veterans to ask questions and listen to their memories of good friends who paid the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War, Korean War and current conflict in Afghanistan, said Zuk.
He's proud to be a Canadian veteran, even though he never fought as his time in the military took place during the Cold War, Zuk said.
"Throughout the past century, Canadian soldiers have been continually recognized as the best there are anywhere in the world," he said. "When a line had to be held in the First World War, Second World War, Korean War ... it was always Canadians who managed to hold the line," he said. "We lost many good men on the battlefield."
Barrhead is a very supportive community and Remembrance Day ceremonies always draw very good crowds to the high school and cenotaph and he's not expecting anything different this year, said Zuk.