It was a fine day for Remembrance Day at Victory Square in Vancouver yesterday morning, which was certainly a blessing for all the attendees at the ceremony. This year, I decided to view the ceremony in front of the Opus store, rather than stand in the Victory Square park as I had done in previous years. The ceremony started at 10AM and concluded around 11:30AM, followed by a short parade which ended at noon. This year marked 60 years since the end of the Korean War (1950-1953) and 95 years since the end of the Great War (WWI: 1914-1918).
I noticed that there were fewer WWII veterans this year, a reminder to all of us that their time with us is coming to an end. As someone who greatly enjoys listening to stories from the past and the wisdom these elders share, I hate to be reminded and selfishly hope that they may stay much longer with us. Lord knows what they have suffered many decades ago. I do not want them to be forgotten or to die feeling unloved.
We applauded everyone in the parade, from veterans to current soldiers to cadets. Seeing the veterans march on as tall as they once did always touches my heart. I imagine what they were like in their younger days and think of all that they have been through.
When the parade had ended, I joined the other attendees in leaving behind my poppy pin at the cenotaph. I had not known until last year that we were encouraged to do so. I will try to take a photo today of what the cenotaph looks like with all the poppies and wreaths.
- Legion BC/Yukon’s Photos from Aboriginal Veterans Day Ceremony on 8 November 2013
- Legion BC/Yukon’s Photos from remembrance Day Ceremony on 11 November 2013
- In Photos: Remembrance Day across the world (globalnews.ca)
- Map: Remembrance Day ceremonies and Global’s coverage on November 11 (globalnews.ca)
- Remembrance Day photos, memories across Canada (cbc.ca)
- Last Remembrance Day in Afghanistan for Canadian soldiers honours 158 killed (nationalpost.com)
- Romeo Dallaire and Shelly Whitman: Remember the child soldiers killed in battle, too (nationalpost.com)
- BC has a rich, remarkable Great War history (vancouversun.com)
- ‘Why the hell would I kill this kid?’: One Canadian veteran remembers the horrors of war (nationalpost.com)
- Royalty and Remembrance Day (thewhig.com)