Editorial — Outstanding Remembrance Day service
This year’s Remembrance Day service at Langley City’s new cenotaph was outstanding in so many ways, and the City deserves a great deal of credit for taking leadership and ensuring that the service didn’t simply fade away.
Last year, The Times received many complaints from those who attended the service outside the new Legion branch on 56 Avenue. They said they couldn’t hear or see the event, given the access to the building. Crowds at Remembrance Day events all over Canada have been growing substantially in recent years, and Langley City’s is no exception.
The Legion has suffered a loss of members, largely due to the fact that Second World War veterans are in their 80s and 90s. It was becoming more of a challenge for the organization to handle all the details of the service.
The City decided that it would build a new (and striking) cenotaph in Douglas Park, and take full advantge of the stage that was built under the Spirit Square program. While work started quite late, it proceeded quickly and everything was in perfect order on Friday.
MP Mark Warawa also helped, by going to bat for the City for a $50,000 federal grant towards the cenotaph.
This year, there were no problems in hearing the service. The crowds were very large, despite rainy and cold weather. Thankfully, the rain stopped during the service itself.
It was also easier to see, although it is a flat site and thus those in the back will have trouble seeing all the activity. Being able to hear is a key improvement.
The flypast was great, and the march of the remaining veterans into the square in front of the cenotaph was greeted with sustained applause by those who appreciate their service on behalf of all Canadians.
It was also fitting that the family of Pvt. Garrett Chidley laid a wreath, as the Langley man was killed in Afghanistan while on duty with Canada’s military. It was a sad reminder that we still live in a world of war, and some are ready to give their lives to defend our way of life.
The Douglas Park site has another advantage. There is no traffic noise to diminish from the event.
Another great feature in the City this year is the banners picturing veterans. This initiative of Downtown Langley Business Association is winning praise from many sources.
It was a Nov. 11 to remember.