4 Wing Cold Lake staged a military parade down main street Bonnyville today, wherein they were granted freedom of the city from Mayor Gene Sobolewski and freedom of the district from Reeve Ed Rondeau.
The contingent began at the C2 and marched down to the Provincial Building, where a delegation of officials from both the town and MD were present to greet them. The ceremony is a centuries old tradition meant to bestow honour upon a military unit.
In the olden days, the town would open its gate to let an army in. Seeing how Bonnyville isn’t walled off – and in fact has no defensive fortifications at all – a couple soldiers symbolically moved a road barrier back a couple steps as a substitute.
After the Mayor and Reeve awarded freedom of their jurisdictions, a squadron of fighter jets flew by in celebration. The soldiers in the parade also fixed bayonets to their guns and unfurled their regimental flags, which they now have permission to do within the town and MD’s borders.