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For Moose Jaw, Remembrance Day is not just a day to pay tribute to those who are gone but to thank those who currently serve.

Our community has a long history of military service that includes those serving in the army, navy, and airforce.

Will Chabun is with Canadian Aviation Historical Society and has been studying 15 Wing and it's history for years now, from it's beginning at a base built as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) to being part of the NFTC today.

"The War time British Commonwealth air training plan was an amazing Canadian mega project," explained Chabun. "In the course of two years really the Canadian government and it's contractors and its helpers built a massive string of schools all across Canada to train aviators. They did it quickly, they did it officially, and they did it effectively."

The BCATP managed to build airfields all across the prairies, and three in our area. The base, and two others in Mossbank and Caronport.

Chabun noted that this initiative managed to train thousands of pilots for overseas combat in World War Two. He also said Moose Jaw is lucky, as the Western Development Museum has one of the nicest BCATP galleries in the prairies.

Chabun is also an avid supporter of the military and veterans and greatly believes in giving them the respect they earn.

"Only a tiny proportion of the city's people are [at Remembrance Day ceremonies]. I'm very grateful to see that, as a person who lost a relative in the air force during the second World War," Chabun said. "I wish there were even more people there. It's a day for thoughtful contemplation about service and sacrifice, it is not glorification of war, it is a remembrance of service and sacrifice."

He added that even his opinion has changed about the military over the years, and hopes others can change too.

"In university I was an old hippy-dippy type, but as I get older and more reasonable, I realize having a corp of people who will go out and serve the country and protect us against threats at the drop of a hat is an extraordinary thing. It's to be respected and honoured."

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