Hundreds of people donned poppies and paid their respects to Canadians lost to war in the first official Remembrance Day ceremony in Murrayville on Saturday.
Organizer Rosemary Genberg was overwhelmed by the large crowd that came to the cenotaph, a twin of the one that stands in Fort Langley. Both were built shortly after the First World War.
“It’s just overwhelming,” Genberg said. She admitted she had expected as few as 30 people to turn up. The 100 copies of the programme ran out very quickly.
“For many years, people have been gathering her informally while other ceremonies were happening,” Genberg told the crowd.
A traditional ceremony included a brief march in by a group of RCMP officers in their red serge uniforms, a reading of In Flanders Fields, and the playing of the Last Post by Brian Parkinson.
VIDEO: Remembrance Day in Murrayville
Fred Dalkeith read his poem The Parade Ground Beneath Our Feet and Jenna Rodemond sang Amazing Grace.
Wreaths were laid on behalf of local politicians and civic groups.
One personal wreath was laid by the Lifton and Stevens family.
Young Colten and Taryn Lifton laid a wreath for their great-grandfather, Leslie Stevens, a Navy veteran who passed away in April of 2008.
Colten’s middle name was given for his great-grandfather, but the children are too young to have known Leslie, said their grandmother Sharleen Lifton.
Four generations of the family, including Leslie’s widow Ila Stevens, their daughter Sharleen Lifton, and her son Ryan and Ryan’s wife Shannon were all there for the ceremony.
“We feel it’s really important for the kids to remember and honour those who served,” said Shannon.
Placing the wreath has become an annual ritual for the family since Leslie passed away, said Sharleen.
Colten also shares a part of his great-grandfather’s legacy, as his middle name is Leslie.