Another year past! It only seems like yesterday the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony was held at the Butterdome. The difference this year; the weather is in our favour. We arrived early enough to obtain great parking. It was apparent upon arriving that this was going to get to the level of standing room only again. There were a great number of pedestrians milling about. People were trying to park everywhere.
Inside the Butterdome, the stands were filling up. I was advised the Butterdome can seat up to 5500 spectators. Many of the Military members were in place already, and more were arriving. For myself, I tried to make sense of the layout for this years activity. I had only previously been to the Butterdome in 2014 and there’s a media protocol to follow for people who will be on the floor photographing the Forces and dignitaries up close. This year something changed and the media was told that they could only be in one place on the floor from which to obtain photographs once the ceremony started. I must admit I pushed the boundary and did get asked to get back into place. But it was only once! I had just obtained the shot I wanted at that point.
In photographing the entirety of this day’s event, I tried to capture photo’s that should/may evoke a memory or story within the viewer. I was not there to take “news” style shots. I do want to take photo’s, when viewed contiguously through the side show on my website, will give a sense of being in/at the event. I want to look around and capture those people who are inhabitants of my universe. I always hope the image results are good enough to be published and actually enjoyed by all viewers young and old.
When I was developing this days photo’s, there was a single photo I captured of the regular members boots from the knee’s down. I’ve always loved the RCMP “high browns” as they are called. (Some may know these as a Strathcona Boot to which there is a rich history worth reading.) They are very comfortable to wear and walk in. Though, in the summer, like any closed leather boot, your feet sweat. But hey! It goes with the job! But back to my point. When I saw the photo of the boots, the rhythm of the Flanders Fields poem came to mind right away. “Here we stand row on row…“and so on. It did engage an emotion. Almost brought a tear to my eye. Imagine that.
Being a veteran myself, and having lost troop mates and co-workers through time, you ponder if people will actually note, or even consider, the sacrifices made by police members (then and today) to keep “everyone else” safe in our country? Of special note; most people today have no idea the RCMP members also served in those same theatres of war Remembrance Day is today commemorating.
The following photo’s show retired RCMP members who have retained a strong sense of community and duty to Canada. They have organized themselves to continue in a charitable role. Shown here are members of the Edmonton RCMP Veterans Association. As a retired “member of the RCMP” in good standing, the Commissioner of the RCMP authorized the wearing of your operational dress uniform, “the Red Serge,” for special occasions such as Remembrance Day. The Veterans Association has adopted a special (and I must say – more comfortable) uniform containing attributes of their original dress uniform. Their blazers are actually made from the same material as the “Red Serge.” The wedge cap is to emulate the Military wedge cap as would have been worn by the RCMP within the war theatre.
Note: The feature image of a pipe and drum band at the head of this article is that of the Edmonton City Police Band. They wear the Prince Charles Edward “Bonnie Prince Charlie” Stewart tartan for those who did not know. This band was also at the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony. They are thrilling to listen to!
I hope you enjoyed the photo’s.