Yellowknife Cadets will continue their tradition of conducting an annual overnight vigil this Sunday evening in preparation for Remembrance Day commemoration. The event combines Yellowknife Air Cadets and Army Cadets and has been going on for over twenty-five years.
Over 60 Cadets from 825 Yellowknife ELKS Air Cadets and 2837 PPCLI Yellowknife Army Cadets will stand watch at the Yellowknife cenotaph on 49th Street in front of City Hall from 6 p.m. Sunday to 6 a.m. Monday. It is the only combined overnight vigil in the north and one of the few combined unit vigils conducted in all of Canada.
Cadets will conduct their silent vigil posts in rotations of twenty minutes. Cadets will gather at the Joint Task Force North Headquarters on Sunday afternoon and march to the cenotaph. The first sentry shift starts promptly at 6 pm. Cadets will stand at attention in pairs throughout the night with the last pair of Cadets leaving the cenotaph 6 am the following day.
Captain Paul McKee, Commanding Officer of the Yellowknife 825 Air Cadets stressed that rotation times need to be kept short in light of the cold temperature in the forecast.
“Our priority is always the safety and well-being of Cadets. The vigil is an important event for both units and we want to maximize the experience for each cadet as long as it’s done in a safe, well-organized manner. Shorter rotations minimize Cadets getting too cold and maximize individual efforts.”
The overnight vigil is an opportunity to reflect upon Remembrance Day and what it means Cadets individually according to Commanding Officer of the 2837 Army Cadets, Captain Sharon Low.
“Efforts are made to try to educate Cadets and allow time for them to pay their respects. We try to stimulate some self-reflection during the vigil as Remembrance Day is not just about the two World Wars or Korea. Hundreds of men and women will be away from their families during Remembrance Day and through the holidays”.
Yellowknife Legion Branch 164 will provide breakfast on Monday morning. Cadets will later join the Canadian Forces and RCMP in the parade along Franklin Avenue and support the public outdoor wreath-laying ceremony at the Yellowknife cenotaph downtown. The parade then moves on to St. Patrick’s High School in time for the public Remembrance Day ceremony slated to start just before 11 a.m. Monday morning.