Thousands across Vancouver Island pay tribute on Remembrance Day


WATCH: People across the province took time to honour the service and sacrifice of those in uniform. Ceilidh Millar reports. 

Thousands of people gathered around the provincial cenotaph at the B.C. Legislature on Sunday to pause and pay tribute to those who fought for our freedom.

“We have to remember,” said one person attending the ceremony.

The ceremony helped to teach a new generation of Canadians the importance of remembrance, especially on the 100th anniversary of Armistice.

“It’s important to respect the people who fought in the war,” explained one young boy.

Among those in the crowd are members of the Canadian Forces, veterans and first responders.

Government leaders and members of the community participated in the laying of wreaths to recognize the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice.

“It brings home to me that we have the freedoms here that are just taken very much for granted,” said another woman in the crowd.

At a smaller gathering in Colwood, dozens marched from Belmont Park to the Juan de Fuca war memorial for an annual ceremony.

Organizers said they wanted to ensure that no cenotaph was left alone on this day.

“It’s the example we give to our children,” said organizer Mike Tennisco, who served in the Canadian Forces for 25 years. “We need to remember the sacrifices of the past or we will keep making those mistakes and the kids need to remember that.”

The ceremony, organized by members of the Juan de Fuca Scouts Group, was attended by children enrolled in Scouts, Girl Guides and Beavers who have come to learn about history.

Edward Brierley, the commissioner for the Juan de Fuca Scout Group, says their presence helps instill hope for the future.

“Scouts is the world’s largest peace organization with 60-million strong around the world,” said Bierley. “They are the ones who are going to make peace in our future.”

“I’ve wanted to serve since I was 8 years old,” said L.S. Daniel Alexander with the Canadian Navy.  “I remember watching CNN with my Dad and saying ‘what do they do?’ He told me that they’re over there fighting for our freedom and I was like well, I want to do that.”

A day to remember the people who went before us to preserve our freedom as it is today.

Ceilidh MillarCeilidh Millar

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