A sign at the Winfield Cenotaph tells people looking for the Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11, 2021 that the event has been cancelled due to a threat of violence. (Bobbi DiMaggio/Facebook)

A sign at the Winfield Cenotaph tells people looking for the Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11, 2021 that the event has been cancelled due to a threat of violence. (Bobbi DiMaggio/Facebook)

Threat of violence directed at Okanagan Remembrance Day ceremony

Ceremony location changed after threat that “somebody might get killed” if United Nations flag flown

Organizers of a Remembrance Day ceremony in Lake Country were forced into a last-minute change of plans after receiving a threat of violence.

Rob Nairne, president of the Oyama branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, said the branch received a call from the RCMP on Wednesday, one day before the ceremony.

“They said via the (Central Okanagan) Regional District they had received a notification that should the United Nations flag be flown at the Remembrance Day ceremony, somebody might get killed,” he told the Morning Star.

Nairne said organizers took the threat seriously and decided to move the ceremony from the Winfield cenotaph to the Legion branch.

“We had a fairly significant police presence around us,” he said, describing police officers armed with assault rifles keeping an eye on the proceedings.

The ceremony went off without a hitch, but organizers were left wondering what the motive for the threat could have been.

“We were quite shocked to be honest, trying to figure out why anybody has an issue with the United Nations,” Nairne said.

“We’re there to honour the veterans who gave their lives or gave several years of their lives to give us the right to free speech and everything and this is the end result, people are threatening to do something about it at a ceremony for them. It’s just wrong.”

Nairne said the United Nations flag was left inside the branch as opposed to flying it outside during the ceremony.

The Morning Star has contacted the RCMP for comment.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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