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Intimate Remembrance Day ceremony being hosted at Maple Ridge lake

Ceremony at Whonnock Lake has taken place for about a decade
The Whonnock Remembrance Day ceremony takes place outside the Whonnock Lake Centre. (Whonnock Community Association/Special to The News)

For those who don’t like huge crowds, a small, intimate Remembrance Day ceremony will be taking place at Whonnock Lake.

The gathering usually attracts about 150 people to the quiet location, nestled beside Whonnock Lake, said Helmi Braches, secretary of the Whonnock Community Association, which organizes the ceremony every year.

Braches says she has attended the ceremony almost every year since it has been taking place – about a decade. Before then, she said, there was still a small ceremony held, but for only about three or four people.

The setting is very nice, noted Braches about why she enjoys the ceremony at Whonnock Lake.

“It has this, how should I say, intimate character and atmosphere, and I like that,” she said.

The ceremony will start at 10:45 a.m. sharp on Saturday, Nov. 11.

First opening remarks will be offered by Dan Olivieri, then there will be recital of Poems of Remembrance: For the Fallen, 1914 by Laurence Binyon; and High Flight, 1941 by John Gillespie Magee Jr.

The poem In Flanders Fields by Lt.-Col. John McCrae will then be recited by all in attendance – words will be provided.

This will be followed by the official Act of Remembrance:

They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

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At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them – to which all in attendance will respond with, “We will remember them.”

Then The Last Post will be played, which, according to the Royal Canadian Legion, is the calling home of the spirits of the fallen to rest. Historically it was played to signal a camp was secured for the night, or as a call out to those wounded or separated soldiers at the end of a battle to guide them to safety to rest.

At 11 a.m. there will be two minutes of silence observed – which will be observed at the same time across the country to remember those who died.

Following this, the Lament will be played, symbolizing the sounds of spouses and children crying over their dead. Then the Reveille/Rouse which symbolizes the waking of the soldiers who have died so they can rise to rest in peace.

Then Olivieri will recite the Commitment to Remember:

They were young, as we are young,

They served, giving freely of themselves.

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To them, we pledge, amid the winds of time,

To carry their torch and never forget.

We will remember them – to which all attendees, again will respond, “We will remember them.”

Finally there will be the laying of the wreaths, Olivieri will give the closing remarks, and then the singing of O’Canada.

The ceremony will take place right outside the Whonnock Lake Centre at 27871 113th Ave., in Maple Ridge.

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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