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Sacrifices honoured at arbouretum's Walk to Remember

Michael and Elizabeth Pratt at the Walk to Remember, which will host its first Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11. - submitted photo
Michael and Elizabeth Pratt at the Walk to Remember, which will host its first Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11.
— image credit: submitted photo

Remembrance Day is a time to reflect, to think about the sacrifices made in times of conflict, and to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy.

This year, a new Remembrance Day ceremony will be offered at a unique memorial created to honour Canadian soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan. The event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 11, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Walk to Remember, located in the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in the 21200 block of 56 Avenue.

“This is a very special place that was created because of two inspiring students who wanted to remember the dedicated soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Al Neufeld, Langley Township’s parks design and development manager. “It is fitting that a Remembrance Day ceremony will be held here and we encourage the public to come out to remember our veterans and honour all the Canadians who have given so much for our freedom.”

Featuring a tree-lined pathway, a commemorative structure, and viewing decks, the Walk to Remember was the vision of Langley sister and brother Elizabeth and Michael Pratt.

Elizabeth, who is in university, and Michael, who is in Grade 10, formed Langley Youth for the Fallen in 2011 to promote their dream of establishing the memorial grove.  Through sponsorships and partnerships with the Township of Langley, Arboretum and Botanical Society of Langley, Rotary clubs, Veterans Affairs Canada, and other community groups, 158 trees are being planted along the Walk — one for every Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.

So far, 130 trees have been sponsored, dozens of which will be planted on Remembrance Day. Sponsorships are still required for the 28 remaining trees, which are available for $300.  Any person or group who would like to help complete the Walk to Remember by sponsoring a tree can contact langleyyouthforthefallen@gmail.com.

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