Saturday November 11, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 2:33 pm]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends | Remembrance Day editorial
Today is Remembrance Day. On November 11 each year the contribution of those who serve and have served is recognized in communities across Canada.
There will be Remembrance Day ceremonies in most communities on south Vancouver Island today, and across the country.
Thinking about peace and sacrifice … our 2023 Remembrance Day reflections are posted online.
Leaders on this day:
- Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) will be at the Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford (at the cenotaph at Veterans Memorial Park), paying his respects to those who gave ultimate sacrifice in service to Canada. He thanks volunteers who are representing him in Cobble Hill, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and Chemainus.
- Rachel Blaney, MP (North Island – Powell River): “We wear a poppy close to our hearts to honour all who have served this country. On this Remembrance Day, to all members, past & present, men & women, 2SLGBTQIA+ Veteran community, and their families who served with them, I thank you all deeply for your service.”
- NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh: “Today, I honour my great-grandfather, Hira Singh who was an officer with the allied force. May we never forget all those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.”
- Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland: “On Remembrance Day, we honour those who have served Canada in uniform—in times of war and in times of peace—and we remember those who gave their lives for the freedom we cherish today.”
- Government of Canada: Today, on Remembrance Day, we honour the courage of our fallen heroes and the sacrifices of the many Canadians who have served and continue to serve to protect our freedom.
- Liberal Party of Canada: “Today, we honour those who have served – and who continue to serve – our country, and we remember those who gave their lives in service of the values we stand for, like freedom, democracy, justice, security, and peace.”
- Green Party of Canada: “On Remembrance Day, we honor the sacrifices of all who’ve served. We acknowledge and learn from the past to strive for a more peaceful and harmonious future.”
- Conservative Party of Canada: “Today we honour the incredible men and women who have fought for the freedom of our great nation. We thank you for your strength, selflessness, and bravery. Your sacrifices for Canada will never be forgotten. We remember.”
- Premier David Eby: “In these uncertain times, we must not forget the terrible sacrifice made by too many. Conflicts around the world threaten people’s lives, freedom and security. It is important we recognize the sacrifices of those who commit their lives to the service of our country. On this solemn day, we remember those who sought and continue to seek a better world for us all. Lest we forget.” | Full statement
- Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development: “We remember those who served, their sacrifices, and their families who supported them. They have given so much and we are forever grateful.”
- Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport: “Lest we forget. Honouring our nation’s heroes this Remembrance Day.”
- Ravi Parmar, MLA (Langford-Juan de Fuca): “Today, we pause to honour and remember those who served and sacrificed for our freedom. We reflect on their courage, dedication, and the lasting impact they have made on our world.” | “Despite the rain, Langford’s spirit remained undampened as the community gathered in gratitude and respect for our veterans this Remembrance Day. Your service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.”
- BC Legislature: “At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we will remember them.”
- Elections BC: “On Remembrance Day, we honour those who have served our country to protect peace, freedom and democracy.”
- Family Doctors of BC: “We can’t see Remembrance Day solely through the lens of history. We remember our history and reflect on present-day conflicts around the globe. May humanity apply learnings from the past, and may peace prevail for all.”
- BC Housing: On Remembrance Day, we honour all the brave veterans who have served & continue to serve our nation. We are forever grateful for the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the values and freedoms we enjoy today. Their courage will never be forgotten.
- BC United Caucus: This Remembrance Day, we honour and remember all those who gave their lives in service to Canada. Today, we can all take a moment to think of Canadian Veterans who sacrificed for the freedoms that we enjoy and reflect on what their service has done for our nation. | Leader’s press secretary, Andrew Reeve: “A true privilege to be here in Ottawa for the National Remembrance Day Service. A powerful ceremony in our nation’s capital this year.”
- Island Health: “Today, we honour the service, courage and sacrifice of Canadian Veterans. We are grateful to those who have served, and continue to serve this land.”
GREATER VICTORIA AREA:
- Destination Greater Victoria: “Today we honour the brave individuals who have served our country, as well as their families and those currently serving. It is through their courageous sacrifices that we live with peace and freedom.”
- Lane Trotter, President, Camosun College: “On Remembrance Day, we pause to honour the sacrifices made by generations of Canadians. We remember the fallen and acknowledge the loss felt by those left behind. We also recognize those who returned home, forever changed.”
- The Village Initiative: “On Remembrance Day, we honour all those who fought for freedom and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure others can live. We also acknowledge the tragic psychological effects on all who were involved. There is bravery in seeking help and support in times of crisis.”
- United Way of South Vancouver Island: “On November 11, we remember. United Way Southern Vancouver Island is honoured to share our gratitude for the brave people who courageously gave their lives in military service to protect our freedom. We salute all Veterans.”
- District of Saanich: “We are forever grateful to and acknowledge the courage and sacrifices our veterans, peacekeepers, and active forces have made. By remembering their service and sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought to preserve.”
- Saanich Emergency Program: “We remember and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Today, pause in a silent moment of remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve.” Event details.
- District of Oak Bay: “We remember and honour the service and sacrifice of our Veterans. In gratitude, lest we forget.” The Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph today begins at 10:55 a.m. The 2800-block of Beach Dr will be closed to traffic from 10:30-12:30 pm. Event details.
- City of Langford: The city recognized Langford Legion 91 and the ceremony at the cenotaph at Veterans Memorial Park.
- City of Colwood: “A rainy windy day but that didn’t prevent a large crowd from coming to pay their respects at the Langford cenotaph. I was proud to represent,” said Councillor Ian Ward, who placed a wreath with the Colwood Fire Dept.
- City of Victoria: To mark Remembrance Day the Canadian flag will be flown at half-mast at Victoria City Hall. The provincial Remembrance Day Ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. at the BC Legislature Cenotaph. [This was televised on CHEK-TV]
Many ceremonies start ahead of 11 am, so that everyone is in place. | See Community Calendar
Attending ceremonies in person might be hard for some to handle emotionally (or physically in cold or rainy weather). Though of course that’s nothing compared to fighting in a war.
Some people will want to watch the live TV coverage of ceremonies from around the region and the country, or reflect in solitude or with family as to the sacrifices of those around them.
Social media provides a way for everyone to mark the day within their community.
Wearing a poppy:
People are encouraged to wear a red poppy pin in the first part of November, up to and including November 11.
The poppies on pins tend to fall off. Many have been taking to wearing a label poppy that has a permanent clasp. With a Canada flag on the clasp is a nice touch.
BC Transit and TransLink are offering free fares for veterans on Remembrance Day.
For Canadian Forces members and all veterans, transit (BC Transit & Cowichan Valley Regional District) had free transit rides during the week leading up to Remembrance Day.
Remembrance on the broader scale:
People are thankful this year for getting through the worst of the COVID pandemic, and hopeful that Canada will get through the current affordability crisis without too many people falling between the cracks.
Adapting to the impacts of climate change on our homes, our safety and the economy is on the minds of many.
Making the effort to do our best in these difficult times honours the sacrifice of those who gave us the opportunity to maintain a democracy and free society.