Hundreds of Vancouverites representing a range of ages and ethnicities gathered at the cenotaph in Victory Square for the annual Remembrance Day service on Monday morning.
More than 100,000 Canadians died during the First World War and Second World War, the crowd was told. The ceremony also honoured soldiers who served during the Korean War, as well as with the United Nations, in the former Yugoslavia and in Afghanistan. There have been 89 annual ceremonies held at the Victory Square cenotaph.
"We remember those who returned maimed in body and in spirit," read Chaplain Lieutenant Shane Flanigan during the Prayer of Remembrance, "as well as those in failing and failed states."
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Roberston is travelling in China and was not in attendance. Cameron Cathcart, Vancouver's Remembrance Day committee chair, noted Mr. Robertson placed a wreath at a memorial site in Hong Kong.
John Lowrie was one of hundreds of parents who attended the ceremony with their children. His children Devon and Alysia, ages 10 and seven, stood on the bumper of a truck to see over the crowd.
"I bring them every year," said Mr. Lowrie. "They love the music, especially the bagpipes. It's really important for them to recognize the cost of the freedoms that we have today."
A parade followed the ceremony, and organizers announced that this year it would take less time than in previous years.