News Story

Mormons Honour Veterans and Current Troops on Remembrance Day

Commemorating Remembrance Day in Raymond, Alberta, involves both older and younger generations. Each year, community members fill the cultural hall of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ local building. The high school band plays while a group of young boys sings old war songs. A local veteran or family member speaks, and leaders from the community’s churches (which include Baptist, Mennonite and United Church of Canada) offer the prayers. Following the service, everyone gathers at the cenotaph on Main Street.

Raymond was founded by early pioneers of the Church and today has a population of just over 4,000, more than 75 per cent of whom are Mormons.


Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, marks the date and time when World War I ended in 1918. Each year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, millions gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to observe a moment of silence in tribute to those who lost their lives in service to their country and to acknowledge the courage of those currently serving.

George Thompson, born in Raymond in 1925, joined the Canadian military when he was 18. He served during World War II but just missed being sent into battle. After his wife died in 2011, George’s eldest son, Robert, began a family tradition: accompanying his father to Raymond’s annual Remembrance Day service.

“The best part of Remembrance Day is the veterans,” said Robert. Recalling the service on November 11, 2015, he said, “As my dad entered the hall, two RCMP officers in their red uniforms took charge and lifted him into his seat at the front of the room (on the risers where those who have served in the military sit). I couldn’t have been more proud of my dad and those officers. On the stand were WWII veterans; peacekeepers from Cyprus, the Golan Heights, Rwanda and Bosnia; and active military who served in Afghanistan as well as some who served in the U.S. military. Each one is invited to talk about his service.”

Robert continued, “My dad visited with his old buddy, ‘Brownie’ Witbeck, who told him, ‘Each year we seem to lose one of the old gang.’ My dad passed away on December 27, 2015. I’m so glad he didn’t miss his Remembrance Day. This year I will be going by myself and will shed a tear for my dad — ‘lest we forget.’”

While Latter-day Saints believe they are to “renounce war and proclaim peace” (see D&C 98:16), they also believe it is a duty to serve their country by protecting their families and neighbours, their “homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, … their rites of worship and their church.” Mormons share a commitment to both peace and freedom and, as such, “support the defense of liberty wherever it is in jeopardy” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “War and Peace,” April 2003 general conference). 

The Church supports and prays for those who dedicate their lives to defending freedom and peace and who honourably serve their countries, in whatever capacity.

Wearing the red poppy leading up to and on November 11 shows respect and support for troops, past and present.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.