'A very solemn moment': What it's like to play the bugle after the clock strikes 11 on Remembrance Day
SASKATOON -- When the clock struck 11 and thousands stood in silence at Sasktel Centre Monday morning, notes from Aaron Vopni's bugle rang out through the building.
"It’s very touching, it’s a very solemn moment and lots of things are going through your mind," Vopni said after Monday morning's Remembrance Day service
The Saskatoon legion member played the customary rendition of The Last Post on a bugle that was fabricated in 1913, the year before the First World War broke out in Europe.
It's the fourth consecutive year he's performed the tune at the annual service, the largest in indoor Remembrance Day ceremony in Canada.
As he played the somber bugle call that historically signaled the end of a soldier's day, Vopni stood among hundreds of veterans and members of the Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon Fire Department and RCMP.
"Anything we can do to give back to our veterans and people that gave their lives for our country and freedoms is very important and I’m able to play the bugle so that’s what I do," Vopni said.
Service a ''source of pride'
While sailing on six different ships on the east and west coasts of Canada over the course of his career, Naval officer Michael Su said he's always made it known how well attended his home city's annual Remembrance Day ceremony is.
“It’s a very big source of pride for me when I go and when meeting my friends or if I’m on the coasts for training I tell everyone that we have the biggest indoor ceremony and it’s a big source of pride for me,” Su said.
Su has served in the Royal Canadian Navy for nearly 20 years. For the last 12, he's been stationed at the HMCS Unicorn in Saskatoon.
In the days and weeks leading up to Remembrance Day, Su said he’s always reminded about Canadian veterans and the ultimate sacrifice many made for Canada and the freedoms Canadians enjoy.
“Leading up to this I have a tendency of watching a lot of documentaries and it reminds me of why we do what we do,” Su said. “We are all here honouring those men and women who have served our country.”