West Shore residents were able to pay their respects to Canada’s veterans in person for the first time since the pandemic began Thursday.
Despite a light drizzle, Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park was packed with veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public as Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 hosted the ceremony.
After the parade made its way into the park square and formed up in front of the cenotaph, Remembrance Day traditions including the playing of O Canada, God Save the Queen and Last Post, two minutes of silence and several prayers were held, followed by the laying of wreaths by Silver Cross Mother Lynn Steiner and Premier John Horgan, among others.
“I’m very impressed with the ceremony,” said Branch 91 president Norman Scott following the ceremony. “I was very impressed with the amount of people who turned out for it.”
Scott said being able to welcome the public to the ceremony in person once again was a highlight of this year’s ceremony.
“It makes me certain they understand and are hearing the story of remembrance, and they are participating in that story.”
Horgan, who continues to recover from surgery and a cancer diagnosis, said he was proud to attend the ceremony, which he noted was the second time for him attending a Remembrance Day ceremony following cancer surgery, having also done so in 2008.
“It’s always special to participate in a ceremony, and to remember those who gave their lives,” said Horgan. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
Two other Remembrance Day ceremonies were held on the West Shore Thursday morning, with Colwood’s ceremony being held virtually, and Metchosin’s in person.