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PHOTOS: Langford remembers those who served

Veterans Memorial Park was overflowing as hundreds turned up to pay their respects

Veterans Memorial Park in Langford was overflowing on Friday (Nov. 11) as the West Shore community came out in full force to honour those who have served and died for Canada and all that we hold dear.

This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony hosted by Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 was a return to form after two years of reduced-scale ceremonies due to public health guidelines.

Hundreds of people, many in military uniforms, crowded into the park surrounding the cenotaph as a parade of veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members, RCMP officers, cadets, and more marched into the park and stood in formation in front of the monument.

Among those attending to pay their respects was Donna Carter, who held a black and white photo of her late father Sam Carter throughout the ceremony.

“My dad enlisted and served in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Regiment and then the Royal Canadian Engineers, and he also served in Korea,” said Carter. “I don’t know much about his service because, like many veterans, he didn’t like to talk about it.”

Carter said it means a lot to her seeing so many people come out to a Remembrance Day ceremony to honour people like her father, who among other things fought on Juno Beach during the Normandy landings.

“Canadians are just wonderful, we remember. I think it is part of our identity, we stick together and remember who we are and where we came from. I’m really proud.”

Legion branch president Norm Scott said overall, he was very happy with how the ceremony turned out despite the odd behind-the-scenes hiccup as some new volunteers got the hang of things.

“I think in general it went awesome. Everyone could see, everyone could hear, everyone was happy. It’s always nice to see the turnout,” said Scott.

While he has since heard just how many people attended this year, Scott admits that from his position right in the centre of the ceremony, it was hard to tell just how full the park was.

But with the previous Langford council starting plans to expand Veterans Memorial Park, Scott said he has high hopes future ceremonies could draw in even more people as there will be more space for a larger ceremony.

“The biggest part is remembrance, remembering our fallen soldiers and those who are still out there fighting for us. In another sense, it’s also about remembering people like my mom and my dad, people who we have all lost. It just makes me proud seeing so many other people out here doing the same thing.”

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