October 21st, 2020

Cannon fire signifies moment of reflection


By Bobinec, Greg on November 12, 2019.

Herald photo by Greg Bobinec
The 20th Independent Field Battery fires off a 105-millimetre C3 Howitzer to mark the two minutes of silence for Remembrance Day Monday morning. @GBobinecHerald

Greg Bobinec

Lethbridge Herald

gbobinec@lethbridgeherald.com

To mark the minute of silence across the city of Lethbridge, Gunners from the 20th Independent Field Battery fired off their cannon to mark the beginning and ending on the minute for people to take the time to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The 20th Independent Field Battery brought their 105-millimetre C3 howitzer cannon to the Mountain View Cemetery to fire off shots in the area in which local veterans lay to rest. Due to safety issues with the firing, the cannon had to be moved to a more open area, and the Field Battery felt it was a good place to honour the fallen soldiers.

“As an Artillery Unit, we traditionally fire a minute gun to represent the beginning and the end of the minute of science,” says Nicholas Barber, Commanding Officer of 20th Independent Field Battery.

“Due to safety restrictions we need to have a 100-metre radius around the gun, so it became impractical for us to do it at the Exhibition Park grounds so we thought that this would be a fitting area to fire off into the coulees to remind the rest of the city that it is Remembrance Day and to have a minute of silence, as well as have a small ceremony with our fallen comrades from World War I and World War II.”

Dozens of people took to Mountain View Cemetery Monday afternoon to not only take in the cannon firing, but to clear off the fresh snow from each individual grave in the Field of Honour, and to pay their respects and remember the actions they took to give Canada the freedoms it has today.

“It is really touching, I wasn’t expecting this big of a crowd here. By no means are we trying to take away from the ceremony at the Cenotaph or Exhibition Park, but it was really nice to have a small crowd come out here today,” says Barber.

After the firing of the cannons for the city to take a moment of silence, a small ceremony was held at the second Field of Honour where people paid their respects to the fallen soldiers, directly at their graves.

“During the ceremony, we read the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ and had my soldiers salute the fallen and place their poppies,” says Barber.

“There is two Fields of Honour here now, the one plot is for our World War I and World War II veterans from the local area who have passed away, and the second one has been set up more recently for the more modern conflict such as Afghanistan and Bosnia.”

At 11 a.m., the first cannon fired off for the city of Lethbridge to take a minute of silence out of their day for those who gave their life for the nation, and by 11:02 a.m., the reflection was up.

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