Campbell River remembers and remembers well.
This community’s annual Remembrance Day Ceremony is always a poignant and powerful event that brings the community together like no other.
This community remembers. It remembers the sacrifices by young men and women from places – like Campbell River – that were far from the terrible conflicts that were tearing apart Europe and Asia.
But our ideals were under attack and from the far corners of the globe, soldiers stood up when called, left their homes and families and said “I’ll do my part to stem the tide of tyranny.”
The sacrifice was great – the ultimate sacrifice that numbered in the millions – and that is why to this day, decades later, we still remember. Most of the veterans from the two world wars are no longer with us and there is always the fear that with their passing their sacrifice will be forgotten. That, however, does not appear to be the case whenever Nov. 11, Remembrance Day, comes around.
The parade to the cenotaph is lead by our veterans and is followed by Island military units, the RCMP, cadets and youth organizations. Awaiting them at the Cenotaph is a cross-section of Campbell River and area residents who take the time to remember. And they do so in numbers.
Today, we will be there in those same numbers to remember those who gave their lives in armed conflict and say thanks to those who served in those conflicts and returned. This is a day to honour that service and reflect on what could have been had they not heeded the call.
The freedom that we all hold so dearly was sustained by the blood of our service men and women through not only the large, armed conflicts involving most of the nations of the world but also in smaller conflicts and in peacekeeping duties.
The peace we, ourselves, experience year-after-year in our great nation and wonderful community is maintained by the service of our brave military personnel. That is the same today as it was in the early part of the 20th Century.
For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, today is the day we formally take the time to remember them. To those who stepped forward to serve, we say “Thank-you.”