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Remembrance Day ceremonies in Maple Ridge to draw 4,000-plus

Poppy Flight planes planning to fly over parade this year
Thousands are expected at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in Memorial Peace Park on Nov. 11. (The News files)

There will be an estimated 4,000 people attending Remembrance Day ceremonies at the cenotaph in Maple Ridge on Saturday, Nov. 11.

“It’s a time we set aside, where we can all gather and show our respects, and practise our remembrance as a community,” said Lesley Nantel, spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Legion Maple Ridge Branch #88.

The branch is one of the largest in Canada, with more than 2,000 members, and there is always a lot of interest in the Nov. 11 ceremonies.

Nantel said the parade will start at the legion (12101 224th St.) at 10:30 a.m., marching to Memorial Peace Park (11930 224th St.) and the cenotaph.

She advises those wishing to attend to find their place on the parade route by 10 a.m.

After the parade, the national anthem will be sung, followed by the official ceremonies.

The ceremony includes reading the names of soldiers from the community who have died in wars, the laying of the wreaths by individuals or representatives of organizations, a blessing, a reading of the poem “In Flander’s Fields” by John McCrae, and the playing of the Last Post.

This year, during the parade, at approximately 10:45 a.m., there will be a flyover by the Poppy Flight.

They are a group of civilian pilots out of the Langley Regional Airport, who will fly over Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows en route to Nov. 11 services in Vancouver.

There will be five planes in the formation. Team leader Glen Hoffman said his grandfather was a Second World War veteran, and other members of the team have military connections.

“We recognize the sacrifices that were made, and it’s a little bit that we can give back,” said Hoffman. “We get positive feedback from veterans who are on the ground looking up, and it can bring a tear to the eye.”

The procession at the cenotaph does a ceremonial salute to one particular veteran, and this year that will be Tom Gardner. He was with the British Royal Engineers from 1955 to 1979, and was a longtime sergeant at arms for the local legion.

Downtown roads will be closed, including 224th Street and side roads, and detours in effect from 9:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

The city asks those attending to walk or use transit if possible, but Town Centre underground parking will be available, accessible through the parkade entrance off Edge Street.

There is a map of the parade route available.

READ ALSO: Pitt Meadows prepares for annual Remembrance Day ceremony

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Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
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