A change has happened since my childhood. Back then, Remembrance Day was usually marked by parents – the fathers, usually – taking their fathers to a cenotaph to honour fallen comrades while the rest of us stayed home. But today, parents are instead bringing their children to the November 11 ceremonies.
Across the country, attendance at cenotaph events has been increasingly steadily. TV news show crowds filled with young people – not just the Scouts and air cadets who have to be there, but those who are either there of their own volition, or brought along by parents who think it’s important their kids show their support.
Here in North Van, we’ve got a range of events to choose from, from the Maritime Memorial service in Cates Park organized by the Burrard Yacht Club, to the ceremony at Victoria Park, said to be the second largest event of its kind in Canada. (We’re proud to say our own Lynn Valley Black Bear Band will be performing there for the first time this year.)
Here in Lynn Valley, we’ve started our own Remembrance Day event in the latter few years. I recently ran into a past-president of the Lynn Valley Legion selling poppies in Delany’s, and he told me about the ceremony happening tomorrow at Pioneer Park at the corner of Lynn Valley and Mountain Hwy.
The Lynn Valley cenotaph event isn’t meant to compete with what’s going on at Victoria Park, he said. But what it does do is help those who find the crowds and parking at the larger event daunting – seniors, perhaps, or families with young children. It gives them a more accessible, shorter ceremony that offers them the chance to remember in their own neighbourhood.
There will be a small colour parade, a piper, some short addresses, words from a minister, and the moment of silence. People are asked to assemble at 10:45, and after the ceremony the public is warmly invited to an open house at Lynn Valley Legion on Lynn Valley Road.
I hope to see you at Pioneer Park tomorrow – with your kids!