Thousands pay homage to veterans in Fort Langley

With the events in eastern Canada late last month resonating in many people’s minds, Tuesday’s Remembrance Day ceremony at the Fort Langley cenotaph had a different atmosphere from past years.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a Canadian reservist, was murdered Wednesday, Oct. 22, while standing guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. That same week, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent died in an intentional hit and run in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

For extra security in the wake of these attacks, police presence was noticeable, as thousands gathered at the Fort Langley cemetery to honour veterans, past and present.

Brisk winds pushed trees framing the cenotaph and cradled dry yellow leaves as they fluttered to earth.

It was a picturesque mid-fall day for a  ceremony that started out with just two people and over the past 15 years has grown to more than 4,000.

In 1999, Gordon Gillard, a Second World War veteran who passed away this past June at the age of 90, stood at the Fort Langley Cenotaph on Remembrance Day with Brenda Alberts, wife of former Township Mayor Kurt.

They held their own ceremony, a simple moment of silence for the fallen.

The next year, there was a small ceremony with about 30 people attending.

On Tuesday, emcee Warren Sommer noted that 2,500 programs were printed for this year’s ceremony, with full knowledge that some visitors would have to make due without one.

A procession led by a bagpiper Alexander Janzen and including RCMP officers in red serge, firefighters, veterans, and scouting groups, began at the west end of the cemetery before making its way towards the cenotaph.

Remembrance Day at the Fort included prayers, hymns, the singing of O Canada, Sounding of the Last Post, an Honour Song from Kwantlen First Nation elders and drummers, the Lord’s Prayer, the Act of Homage where official wreaths were laid at the cenotaph, and a fly past from the Fraser Blues vintage aircraft team during a two-minute moment of silence that started at precisely 11 a.m.

In his greeting, Sommer said, “As year follows year, we assemble here to honour those heroic men and women who made the supreme sacrifice to ensure that we, who survive, and generations to come, might live in peace and be free to pursue, within the boundaries of decency, law and order, a way of life each one of us may choose. Many others have died since their active day of service in wartime, and today we remember them, too.”

Just Posted

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

LETTER: Langley/Surrey shortchanged on transit for Vancouver

Funding to get SkyTrain to Langley City could come from not undergrounding Vancouver’s extension.

LETTER: Area letter writer puts Trump government shutdown in perspective

A Maple Ridge letter writer is critical of Hillary Clinton’s comments about the shutdown.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read