As the crowd grew close, and all generations of Edmontonains cheered on the torch’s arrival, the crowd became one and the singing of the National Anthem was announced. Just like we’ve all been taught, everyone straightened and prepared to belt out a familiar rendition. But then something unexpected happened. Debbie Houle began a low vocal rhythm, lightly rattled her drum, and everyone gave pause. Before anyone knew what to expect, Sarah Pocklington charged ahead with a vibrant melody and Sherryl Sewepagham carried everyone’s ears with a swooping and bold harmony. The words of the anthem were gone, replaced instead by a comforting feeling, like finding something you never knew was lost. It perfectly articulated the symbolic nature of the torch, the enduring human spirit of the games, and the deep connection Albertan’s and Canadian’s share with one another.
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