Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Remembrance Day ~ 419 Squadron ~ Kamloops, BC

It is Remembrance Day, November 11, 2013.  The day is overcast and with the significance of this solemn holiday, it seems only right that the sun does not shine on us today.  There are personal memories for some and stories for others but we all know how important it is to recognize those who gave their lives for our county and to remember all who fought for our freedom.

The Red poppy for Remembrance Day in Canada
I had the idea that we should go out to the airport to get some photos of the airplanes that would be doing a flypast for the Remembrance Day ceremony at Riverside Park at 11am. I expected that these jets would be arriving from out of town in time for the ceremony so was very surprised to see that they were sitting at Fulton Field to begin the flight from here.  That should guarantee some more photos so I am thrilled.
419 Squadron take off from Fulton Field, Kamloops, BC
The Hawk aircraft of 419 Squadron are from Cold Lake, Alberta.  That is the busiest fighter base in Canada and is considered world class.  The fighter pilot training for the Canadian forces is conducted there so we are seeing some of the world’s finest pilots participate in our Remembrance Day ceremony. 
The Hawk aircraft is airborne
The engines roar and takeoff begins but that was over so quickly that I barely had time to get the camera focused on the airplane!  The good thing is that there were three Hawk aircraft taking off and I would have another chance to get a photo of a jet as it went overhead. 
Leaving Fulton Field, Kamloops, BC
The reality of getting a good overhead photo of an airplane leaving the airstrip I am standing at as they fly over at an incredible speed, soon appears to be a figment of my imagination.  I have a beautiful camera with a great lense but there is only so much one should expect of the camera!  
Making formation for Remembrance Day ceremony in Kamloops, BC
The formation soon happens and I manage to get a photo with them off in the distance before they’re out of sight. It is shortly before it is time for their appearance at the ceremony and we can hear them but cannot see them for awhile.  
The flypast for Remembrance Day in Kamloops, BC
A ‘flypast’ is a ceremonial flight by a single or a group of aircraft and the flypast today will honor those who fought for the freedom of our country. The sound and power is amazing when they fly low and that makes for an emotional moment when it is part of the Remembrance Day ceremony. 
'Missing Man Formation' is performed
The ‘missing man formation’ is often used in these ceremonies.  It can be displayed in several different formations, depending on the number of aircraft or significance of the event.  It displays an empty place in the formation and is a tribute showing love, respect and camaraderie for a brother pilot, so very significant for our Remembrance Day ceremonies.
419 Squadron returns to Fulton Field, Kamloops, BC
We waited to watch the squadron return to Fulton Field before we left.  I may not have gotten that special overhead photo I hoped for but the purpose for the visit was to pay respect to those who fight for our country.  From our vantage point, I quietly thanked the pilots of the 419 Squadron for their participation in the Remembrance Day ceremony in Kamloops as well as all of the others who so bravely fought the wars that allow us to live in a free country with all that we have.

Lest We Forget 

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