More than 65 years later, Bill Dewitz says having to wrap the limp body of a fellow Canadian soldier he had only known for a few hours earlier into a blanket was the most difficult thing he has ever experienced in his 86 years.
"The kid was my helper and I had to get some sleep," said Dewitz, who fought for Canada in the Second World War, spending six months in combat in Italy and Holland. "The last thing I told him was to not expose his head in any way as he knew the Germans were nearby.
"Well the kid didn't listen to me and lifted his head and a German sniper took him out. I had to wrap his body in a blanket. It was the toughest thing I ever had to do in my life."
The next summer in Holland, another German sniper shot at him, said Dewitz.
"I could hear the bullet whizzing by me," he said. "But I didn't move and we knew where he was. One of our snipers saw him and took him out."
Several minutes after attending yet another Remembrance Day ceremony in Barrhead, Dewitz said seeing so many people show up to honour him and other veterans of war is something he looks forward to every year.
"It was great to see such a huge turnout again this year," said the affable 86-year-old. "It's nice that people want to remember what we did all those years ago during the Second World War.
"Personally, I come out because I like seeing the other veterans and telling some stories and having a few laughs."
Still in good health, Dewitz said he has missed very few Remembrance Day ceremonies since returning from the war back in 1946.
"It's a special day for sure," he said.
The citizens of Barrhead came out en masse for the 2010 Remembrance Day ceremony as dozens lined the street outside the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 75 as veterans marched alongside a procession of over 100 local police, firefighters, cadets and the First Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters, Signals Squadron, Canadian Forces Base Edmonton.
Once the procession reached Barrhead Composite High School, they were met by an overflow crowd of 800 local citizens who gathered to pay their respects to soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and others who served so gallantly in past and current wars.
The Remembrance Day ceremony featured numerous songs performed by the BCHS School Orchestra, several prayers, singing of the national anthem and reading of In Flanders Fields by young Maggie Dodds.
The procession then traveled down from the high school to Highway 33 to the Barrhead Cenotaph, where hundreds again gathered for the laying of dozens of wreaths.
During the ceremony at the high school, Rev. David Pype said it saddens him that today's society is filled with people "with a great sense of entitlement" who truly don't appreciate those who sacrificed so much to make Canada one of the world's greatest countries.
"We don't appreciate what has been done for us and what is still being done for us" by military personnel who risk life and limb during times of war, said Pype.
Remembrance Day is a time to honour all of those who have served so bravely and to remember those who never made it home, he said.
"Many of the things we have achieved have not come without great suffering," said Pype, paying homage to the more than 20 veterans seated near the front of the overflowing crowd inside the BCHS gymnasium.
"We cannot forget our past ... we are standing on the shoulders of our forefathers as today we gather to give thanks and remember the great sacrifices that have been made and are still being made."
Remembrance Day is a honourable way for members of society to show they care about the sacrifices that have been made and show support for our current troops fighting in Afghanistan, he said.
"Our job is to not only remember, but to carry on the fight," he said.
John Towers, 87, who was in the Canadian military from early 1943 until the end late 1946, said he never got the opportunity to fight overseas, but he lost one of his best friends and still remembers him fondly to this day.
"His name was Steve Fritch and he was a good soldier and very good friend," he said. "He was killed in Dunkirk. He was only 19 years old."
Having lived in Barrhead for the past 55 years, Towers said being a part of the annual Remembrance Day ceremony, organized by the Legion, is an honour and privilege.
"This is the first time in 36 years I have not carried flags during the Remembrance Day parade," he said wistfully. "I don't get around as well as I used to, but it was tough not carrying the flags."
Seeing such an overflow crowd show up to honour veterans was heartwarming, Towers said.
"It has been getting bigger and bigger every year," he said. "We had 750 seats in the gym and every one was filled with many more standing. It's great to see."
Having so many young people in attendance was also nice to see as they are learning about the sacrifices made so many years ago, he said.
"It's nice to know so many of the younger generations are finding out what we did and they think it's important enough to show up during this day of remembrance," he said.