On June 4, the Fernie branch of the Royal Canadian Legion hosted the annual Veteran’s Dinner, which this year was extended to include first responders. The dinner is traditionally held on the Saturday closest to the anniversary of D-Day, which is June 6.
Upon arrival, each of the veterans and the widows of the veterans were presented with a corsage.
Fourteen veterans and a dozen first responders representing the RCMP and the firefighters from Hosmer, Fernie and the South Country, as well as approximately 50 others were in attendance and treated to a fine meal prepared by the Legion Ladies Auxiliary.
A memorabilia table was set up with photos of local veterans as well as other military related items that stirred up memories. At the table was one place setting, which remained empty throughout the evening as a tribute to the Unknown Soldier.
Following dinner and a toast to the Queen, each branch of the military was honoured as the veterans from the navy, army and air force were asked to stand while their respective anthems played.
Mayor Mary Giuliano presented all the veterans with a Fernie pin. Speaking on behalf of the City of Fernie, she praised both veterans and first responders for their contributions to the community.
To end the evening, a poem by Captain (retired) Kenneth Carlson entitled D-Day Remembered was shared with the audience.
Brett Uphill on behalf of the Fernie Professional Firefighters Local 2827 then made a surprise donation of $300 to the Legion to assist with the installation of the new windows.
Veterans gathered for the annual dinner, which is hosted by the Fernie Royal Canadian Legion Branch 36. – Submitted photo