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Junior Rangers march to Ottawa for Remembrance Day ceremonies

Thursday November 22, 2012
Robert Munroe/Special to Wawatay News
Nine Junior Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario marched with veterans in Ottawa during the National Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Nine Junior Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario marched with veterans in front of thousands of applauding spectators at the National Remembrance Day ceremony in the nation’s capital on Nov. 11.

The Junior Rangers were selected from two communities, Muskrat Dam and Kasabonika Lake.
“I felt proud that so many Canadians came out to attend the ceremony” said Junior Ranger Lamar Mawakeesic, 13, of Muskrat Dam.

“The best part of this trip was making friends and representing the Junior Rangers on parade.”
The Junior Canadian Rangers are a a national youth program operated by the Canadian Forces for youth aged 12 to 18 in remote communities across Canada. The program emphasizes safety on the land and water and in personal life styles. There are about 700 Junior Rangers in 22 communities across northern Ontario.

“The Junior Canadian Rangers who were selected to come to Ottawa were extremely honoured to be given the opportunity to participate in the National Remembrance Day parade,” said Captain Caryl Fletcher, the officer commanding Junior Rangers in Ontario. “They performed magnificently and conducted themselves with complete professionalism.”

The two-day trip was not all drill and ceremony for the Junior Rangers. On their first day they visited the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument and toured the grounds of the Parliament Buildings. In the evening they shopped for clothes, ate in restaurants and went out to the movies.

“I will have so many good memories of this trip to Ottawa,” said Junior Ranger Seeguan Fiddler, 15, of Kasabonika Lake.

“The best was the time spent in the evenings laughing with my friends. But when I was marching past all those people on the side of the road during the parade I felt pretty good - and proud at the same time.”

After the parade the Junior Rangers joined veterans for a special lunch at the National War Museum.

“I used to watch the ceremony on TV and always wondered what it would be like to be on that parade” said Sergeant Ralph Begg, a Canadian Ranger escort from Kasabonika Lake. “It was emotional seeing all the veterans on parade with me. My wife called me after the ceremony to say that the community watched the ceremony on TV and were excited to see our youth march with such pride.”

Also participating in the parade were Junior Rangers Dakota Kejick, Savannah Beardy, and Caroleen Beardy, from Muskrat Dam; and Nicole Begg, Kristen Anderson, Troy Anderson, and Morgan Anderson from Kasabonika Lake.

Ranger Master Corporal Emily Beardy was the escort for the Junior Rangers from Muskrat Dam.

(Captain Robert Munroe is the unit information officer for 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.)

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