By Lisa Goudy
Rosedale Cemetery holds special meaning for Col. Marc Bigaouette because his good friend and ex-Snowbird Cpt. Bryan Mitchell is buried there.
“Bryan and I flew together when Bryan was on helicopters so we had a tour together in Egypt in 1987,” said Bigaouette, the commander of 15 Wing Moose Jaw who has served in the military for 32 years. “I get to touch his grave and get an appreciation for everything he’s done for his country, for the military (and I) get to see his wife and his children.”
Bigaouette was one of many volunteers who placed Canadian flags on graves in Rosedale Cemetery Sunday morning in memory of the friends he has lost and countless other veterans killed over the years.
Sunday was the annual Royal Canadian Legion Moose Jaw branch Decoration Day, which is always held the Sunday closest to June 6. June 6, 1944, D-Day, was when approximately 15,000 Canadian troops landed in Normandy during the Second World War.
“To come here and to have the opportunity to touch those graves and understand what it means to give your life to your country is a very special moment for me,” said Bigaouette.
Royal Canadian Legion president Kathleen Martell said 1,800 flags were placed on graves at Rosedale Cemetery, more than 100 flags at Sunset Cemetery and more than 100 at the city cemetery.
Many people gathered for the ceremony at Crescent Park Sunday afternoon. Representatives from 15 Wing, the Legion, army, navy and air cadets, among others, participated in the ceremony.
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.