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Lest we forget

People came out to honour the memories of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom across the Kivalliq this past week.

Warrant Officer Susie Suisangnark, front, has the cadets ready to fall-in for the Remembrance Day ceremony in Naujaat this past week. photo courtesy of 3055 RCACC

More than 400 students, teachers and members of the community packed into the gymnasium at Tuugaalik High School for Naujaat's Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 10.

Naujaat traditionally holds its Remembrance Day ceremony on a school day to maximize student attendance and participation.

3055 RCACC commanding officer Capt. Lloyd Francis said it was standing-room only for the Naujaat ceremony.

He said the children were incredibly behaved during the service.

“You could have heard a pin drop in there during the majority of the ceremony,” said Francis.

“It's a big day for our cadet corps and, this year, we had 33 cadets on parade for the ceremony.

“We included the lighting of the qulliq in this year's ceremony, having one of our corps elders, Alice Nanorak, do the honours.”

Francis said the Naujaat cadets on parade at the ceremony placed their poppies either on the table where the qulliq was, or on one of the wreaths during the ceremony on their way out.

He said the gesture was a lot like the one that happens at Canada's National Monument every year.

“We had about 50 or 60 members of the community join us for the ceremony this year, which was nice to see,” he said.

“We had an officer place a wreath on behalf of the RCMP and another was placed on behalf of the Canadian Rangers here in Naujaat.

“We're hoping to have our local Rangers take part in the parade with the cadets in 2018.”

Darrin Nichol has been part of the Legion executive in Rankin Inlet for 20 years.

Nichol said the Remembrance Day ceremony is very important to the community. He said there are strong connections to the Kivalliq region from past military interventions.

“It's an important ongoing remembrance of the personnel who have served and who continue to serve today, including our rangers,” said Nichol.

“The involvement in the ceremony by our local cadet corps is critical in Rankin.

“Commanding officer Dorothy Tootoo and the Rankin cadet corps are an impressive lot, and they do justice to filling-in for the military component during any Remembrance Day ceremony – they always do a great job.”

Attendance tends to fluctuate for the Rankin ceremony, with the past two being, anecdotally, the most well-attended.

Nichol said a number of factors play into how many people attend the service but, traditionally, the Rankin ceremony attracts a large crowd to Maani Ulujuk Ilinniarvik.

“One would expect a large crowd for the ceremony during the 150th anniversary for Canada, which is an important period for the country,” he said.

“But large numbers of folks in Rankin almost always come out to pay their respects to the fallen and those who are serving on Remembrance Day.”