The Kelowna Legion had chosen not to hold an official Remembrance Day ceremony this year, but there were a few moments to mark the event, including a bugle and bagpiper.
Larry Burnett said he always wanted to go to the cenotaph to lay his poppy in memory of those who fought, died and still fight for the freedom of Canada.
“As we got to the park, I was with my daughter and I said to her, ‘Look at this, this is amazing. Look at all the people gathering here, it’s great to see, ”Burnett told Global News.
“We got to the cenotaph, I put my poppy down for a friend of mine and we were just going to leave but I said to my daughter” it’s five minutes before 11 o’clock, let’s just stay here and make the moment of silence and hear prayer and blessing.
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Kelowna Mounted Police request video of cenotaph disturbance to aid investigation
He said that was when he noticed a group setting up a microphone and speaker.
The informal November 11 service went from solemn to chaotic in seconds, when a woman – part of a group defending anti-COVID-19 health mandate sentiments – used a public address system to talk about ” cognitive dissonance ”and his belief that freedoms are trampled on.
Burnett said he was standing next to a man holding a small camera on a tripod and a woman walked up to him and said “you are recording this, aren’t you? When he said yes, Burnett said the woman replied “well, that’s gonna be big”.
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran on Remembrance Day disruption
Burnett said he thought the woman was going to talk about Remembrance Day, but she started talking about the COVID measures and arguing that the city of Kelowna had let everyone down.
“It was honest to God, bullshit,” he said.
“It was a complete cut. These people knew what they were doing from day one. They premeditated it, they thought about it, they planned it. They knew well in advance what they were doing.
‘Not a good time’: anger in Kelowna, BC, after disruption of Remembrance Day ceremony
Burnett said he was in the RCMP for 30 years, but had never seen anything like it.
“I’ve seen the best of people and I’ve seen the worst. But damn, I’ll tell you what, these people put a new definition on what the worst really looks like, ”Burnett said.
“It was the most shameful demonstration of anything. “
Kelowna Mounted Police are seeking public comment as they investigate the disruption to the cenotaph ceremony.
Anyone who filmed the disruption or the events leading up to it is invited to upload a video or send a link to the video using the following email proxy: [email protected]
Anger in Kelowna after disruption of Remembrance Day ceremony
The people who caused the disruption during the ceremony have not yet been identified.
The Kelowna RCMP have said they will conduct a full investigation to determine what offense, criminal or otherwise, may have been committed and that they will follow up on charges or fines where appropriate.
– with files from Kathy Michaels