Following a parade downtown beforehand, the Royal Canadian Legion Hall was bustling this morning with people from all walks of life gathered to remember and honour what the Veterans living among us have done to serve our country.
“The legion is usually at capacity for this day, but today was the legion was packed to the rafters,” said Major Dan Davies, master of ceremonies, he guessed there could have been upwards of 1,000 people there today. “There wasn’t a seat available in this building in any room.”
A familiar face around town, Davies is a City Councillor, teaches at Duncan Cran Elementary school, and is also a cadet instructor with the Canadian Forces. He has been a member of the Legion for 20 years.
Wreaths were laid by representatives with many local organizations, from the Kin Club to the North Peace Historical Society, and countless others.
2015 marks 70 years since the end of the second World War was reached, in 1945. That war lasted 6 years, starting in 1939.
The veterans in attendance ranged from many different wars, including World War II, Korea War, from peacekeeping efforts, and most recently Afghanistan.
BC’s appointed Senator Richard Neufeld said Remembrance Day has always been a ‘bittersweet’ day for him.
“On one hand, we honour those Canadians who have defended the Maple Leaf, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Indeed, it is a sad day of remembrance,” he said. “On the other hand, it is also a day that allows us to remember just how lucky we are to live in a peaceful country like ours.”
“On this day, when we honour those who have fought for this country and our freedom, it’s hard to find the works to express just what they have given to each and every one of us,” Mayor Lori Ackerman said, adding that the day is also about honouring our values and history, as well as thanking the Veterans who made our modern lives possible.
She quoted G. K. Chesterton in her speech, saying, ‘the true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.’
Pat Pimm emphasized that the day reminds us of the freedoms we enjoy ‘at a very heavy price.’
“We have many privileges and opportunities here in Canada, and often forget what we have,” he said, thanking the men and women who have served in armed forces – today and in the past.