Photos: Vernon Remembrance Day ceremony attended by thousands

World War II veteran Nelson Whatmore places a wreath at the foot of the monument during Monday’s Remembrance Day Ceremony at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Thousands attended the Monday’s Remembrance Day Ceremony at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Major Jake Flanders delivers his speech during the Remembrance Day ceremony. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Don Hurst plays the Last Post. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Thousands gathered at Kal Tire Place in Vernon Monday to honour those who served in the First World War, the war in Afghanistan, and the many wars in between.

The Vernon branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and the City of Vernon hosted the Remembrance Day ceremony on the 101st anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in France, which marked the end of the First World War.

The signing took place at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, and at 11 a.m. on Monday, the 3,000 or so people at Kal Tire Place held perfectly still for the moment of silence.

After, many lined up to take part in the placing of dozens of wreaths at the foot of the Remembrance Day monument at the southern end of the arena floor.

To close the ceremony, the public was invited to come down from their seats and place poppies next to the wreaths.

Among those who placed a wreath layers was 97-year-old Nelson Whatmore, a Second World War veteran who also participated in two peacekeeping missions and served for 30 years across Europe and back home in Canada.

When his name and years of service were announced during the wreath-laying, the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

“It’s important to remember that if it wasn’t for those boys, we wouldn’t be here. So you can’t forget them,” said Whatmore, who has yet to miss a Remembrance Day ceremony.

While Nov. 11 was a day for all to take pause and remember those who served, Whatmore said he does so on a regular basis.

“I think of the boys often. I lay there in bed in the morning and think of the men I served with. Where are they today? Even the ones who came back, you often think of them.” he said.

In December 2017, Whatmore was awarded the French Legion of Honour — France’s highest honour — for his part in the liberation of France and Europe.

The Remembrance Day service’s guest speaker, Jake Flanders, is a retired Vernon major who served his country for 26 years.

After the service, while mingling at the post-ceremony lunch at the Vernon legion, Flanders expounded on what it meant to see the full arena.

“I think it’s super important that civilians from the Vernon area come out,” he said.

“I’ve been at Remembrance Day ceremonies all across the country and Vernon has one of the best turnouts,” he said.

The service began with sentries falling in, followed by a parade of veterans who filled the arena floor. Lt. Stefan Reid led a prayer for the service and Vernon Royal Canadian Legion president Jennifer Pace read from scripture and read a poem. Music was provided by the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band, who have been gracing services in the North Okanagan for 35 years.

Beverly Fester, a veteran of the Army Navy and Airforce Unit 5, read In Flanders Fields and Don Hurst played the Last Post and the Rouse.

Kal Tire Place wasn’t the only Remembrance Day service in the area.

Others gathered at the local cenotaph, as well as in Coldstream, where wreaths were placed in honour of veterans past and present who died in sacrificeof their country.

READ MORE: Armstrong war veterans remember fighting for ‘best country in the world’

READ MORE: North Okanagan communities gather to remember

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Remembrance DayVeterans

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tech mogul looks to grow Vernon’s presence in Okanagan wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in the city hillsides

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Bronze for Vernon’s Casey Brown at Psychosis mountain bike race

Brown finished third at the Aug. 5 race in Golden, part of the CLIF Crankworx Summer Series

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

GALLERY: Vernon painter captures beauty of Davison Orchards in new series

In a new painting, card series, artist Patricia Lawton was inspired by resident dog, Harlow

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Most Read