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Full Remembrance Day ceremonies return to Maple Ridge

After two-year absence, thousands expected at cenotaph on Nov. 11 again
Remembrance Day ceremonies at the cenotaphs in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are well attended. (News files)

Maple Ridge cadets are practising their marching, Ridge Meadows Mounties are trying on their red serge, and military veterans are dusting off their uniforms, as the city gets set to once again honour those who sacrificed in war with an annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

The annual Nov. 11 ceremony has drawn between 4,000 and 6,000 people to Memorial Peace Park and the cenotaph for the annual wreath laying and moment of silence.

“There will be hundreds in the parade, and thousands in attendance,” predicted Lesley Nantel, the Maple Ridge legion manager.

“This is our first full-capacity Remembrance Day since COVID-19.”

For the past two years, the ceremonies have been limited in number, with a virtual event in 2020 and a small in-person ceremony in 2021.

“Everybody is pretty excited that it’s back,” said Nantel.

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This year, once again the parade will leave the Royal Canadian Legion’s Maple Ridge Branch #88 (12101-224th St.) at 10:30 a.m. to march to memorial peace park. There will be a pipe band, veterans, cadets, police, firefighters, other first responders, Scouts, Guides, and the legion colour party.

The ceremony is set to start at 10:40 a.m. with the singing of the national anthem.

There will be a roll call, which lists the names of local people who died in the first and second world wars.

This will be followed by a prayer, and at 11 a.m. there will be two minutes of silence.

A bugler will sound the Rouse, a piper will play Lament, and there will be a reading of the poem In Flanders Fields by Canadian John McCrae.

The laying of wreaths at the cenotaph will follow, with politicians representing various levels of government, representatives of the Legion, armed forces, cadets and others paying respects.

And this year, participants will sing God Save the King, and march off with a salute to veterans.

There will be a road closure in effect on 224th Street and the downtown area from 9:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The city advises participants to walk or take transit to the event, but underground parking will be available at Town Centre, accessible from Edge Street, next to The ACT.

The city offers a map of the detour route and parade.

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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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