Volunteers placed flags on the graves of veterans in Moose Jaw’s cemeteries on Saturday and Sunday for Decoration Day.  

Comrade Justin Eddison, a current military service member and veteran of the Afghanistan War, shared the day's historical background during the Decoration Day service at Rosedale Cemetery on Sunday.  

He spoke about Canada’s national military memorial day being selected as November 11th in 1931, in recognition of Armistice Day when World War I ended.  

Before this, though, Canadians commemorated our war dead on Decoration Day, originally in recognition of those who fought at the Battle of Ridgeway during the 1866 Fenian Raids.  

The Decoration Day commemoration was started on the anniversary of the Battle of Ridgeway on June 2, 1890, by a group of veterans protesting the lack of recognition by the Canadian government. It then became an annual event, held on the first Sunday in June.  

While Remembrance Day typically recognizes those who fought in World Wars I and II and the Korean War, as well as those who have served since then, Decoration Day recognizes Canada’s previous veterans as well.  

Eddison spoke about the importance of the day in taking time to recognize all who have fought for Canada. “It brings me great honour and pride to see people coming out and honouring those who have come before me and before us and taking the moment to lay a flag on these graves." 

“This to me means that my fallen comrades, and brothers and sisters in arms, in the future, won’t be forgotten, because this act will be perpetuated through our generations, and will continue on,” he added.  

Sue Knox, military veteran and current poppy chair at the Legion, said they saw a great turnout of volunteers this year, with at least 100 people coming out to place the flags.  

“Thank you for responding. If anyone does have a loved one that’s out here that hasn’t been flagged on their headstone – because there’s no indicator that those individuals may have been a veteran of any of our wars or conflicts - then they can get a hold of me through the Legion, and I will add their names to the list.” 

“We will find out exactly where they are, and we will mark their graves next year come Decoration Day again in June.”