On Nov. 11, I was privileged to attend the Remembrance Day services at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre. It was heartwarming to witness the number attending, where the floor seats were full and the standing room crowd was four-deep against the three surrounding walls.
I was very impressed by the young men and women making up the cenotaph guard, who took their places on stage before the service began and remained there, heads bowed in reverence, until the very last officiator and dignitary had left the stage when the service ended.
Everyone did a wonderful job including the Master of Ceremonies Don Taylor, Legion President Jack MacLean, Parade Marshall Gil Hopkins, Sergeant-at-Arms Jill Steff and Poppy Chairman Bill Layman.
Trumpeter Alisha Yarman did a most admirable job of presenting the Last Post and Reveille. As well, Piper Shannon Pennington moved us with the lament.
It was also a pleasure to listen to the offerings of the Kwalikum Secondary School Brass Ensemble who set the tone before the service.
We give thanks also to those representing our community who, on our behalf, laid wreaths at the cenotaph, and a thank you also for drawing our attention to prayer and underscoring our feelings of reverence and faith, to the Chaplain, Rev. Phil Spencer.
With the recent atrocities on our own soil, in Ottawa and Quebec, we are made all the more aware of the job our men and women in uniform have done and are doing, to represent and protect us from those who would deny us our values, beliefs and our way of life.
Present in many of our minds, I’m sure, is the awareness that those who had defended us in the Second World War and the Korean War are now much fewer in number, and those in attendance today know all too well the importance of honouring them and remembering our indebtedness to them.
It was indeed a pleasure and a privilege to attend this ceremony, and to be sure, we will not forget what you have done for us.
Craig DrummondQualicum Beach