For many people, Remembrance Day is just another stat holiday. Another day to sleep in. While we definitely appreciate the extra shut eye, it’s important to take a moment to think about what makes tomorrow special. Tomorrow, November 11th is the day that all Commonwealth Nations take time to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty, fighting for our freedom. Historically, it is observed to mark the end of World War 1 in 1918 which officially ended with the signing of the Armistice of Compiègne “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”. It’s easy to forget what the soldiers and their families went through. It’s all too easy to take our freedoms for granted because as Canadians we don’t live in a war ridden country. We aren’t accustomed to hearing bombs go off in our own backyard. But in reality, much pain and conflict remains in our world today. So for us, tomorrow represents much more than just a day off to relax. It’s a day for us to remember how lucky we are to be free citizens in a democratic nation. It’s a day to be thankful for the courage and dedication of people who were willing to sacrifice their lives for something they believed in. It’s a day to pay your respects, whether that be with a few minutes of reflection or by attending one the Remembrance Day ceremonies going on around the city.
If you’re interested in attending an event, here’s our guide to Remembrance Day events happening around the Greater Vancouver area.
- 9:45 am – Opening Ceremony
- 10:00 am – Veterans & Military Marching Units led to Victory Square
- 10:30 am – Cenotaph Ceremony Begins
- 11:00 am – Last Post Will Sound, 2 Minutes of Silence
- 11:30 am – Parade
Located at the corner of Hastings and Cordova street in Vancouver, the program will commence with a performance by the Vancouver Youth Bach Choir and Sarabande. Veterans, military marching units, and bands will then be led in to Victory Square by the Vancouver Flag Party. Upon their arrival, the Cenotaph Ceremony will begin. Following the Cenotaph Ceremony, the Last Post tribute will sound at which point, there will be two minutes of silence for individuals to pay their respect along with a 21-gun salute by the 15th Field Artillery Regiment. The RCAF will conduct a fly-past moments later, with the Bach Youth Choir and Sarabande following to sing “In Flanders Field” while wreaths are placed at the Cenotaph. The service finale will be a combined performance by the Vancouver Fire and Rescue Service and the Regimental Pipes and Drums of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. The end of the service will be followed by a parade through Gastown.
Main parade will march the “RED” route, marching west along Hastings, turning right down Richards, then going east on Cordova and south on Cambie. The veterans will march the “BLUE” route, marching west along Hastings and after will disperse.
- 8:30 am – Ceremony Begins
The cauldron will be lit while a senior veteran hands over a Canadian flag to a member of the next generation of veterans. This hand over acknowledges the continuing service and loyalty of Canadians through the generations. The cauldron will remain lit until 11:00am.
- 11:00 am – Performance Begins
A solo trumpet will call out 11 questions and 11 different stringed instruments will answer. Each of these instruments will represent a specific fallen soldier or Veteran of the World War battles and tells their story through music. The performance will be 11 minutes long and will include a display of historic photos and documents from each of the featured fallen soldiers or veterans.
Other Events Happening Around Greater Vancouver on November 11th, 2015:
- South Burnaby Ceremony at Bonsor Park Cenotaph (Event Begins at 10:30 am)
- North Burnaby Remembers and Parade at Confederation Park Cenotaph (Event Begins at 10:30 am)
- Remembrance Day at the Cenotaph and Parade at Como Lake Middle School/Blue Mountain Park (Event Begins at 9:30 am)
- Wreath Laying Ceremony at North Delta Social Heart Plaza (Event Begins at 10:45 am)
- Remembrance Day Service at City Hall (Event Begins at 10:30am)
- Cates Park Service (Event Begins at 11:00 am)
- Lynn Valley Village Service (Event Begins at 10:30 am)
- Remembrance Day Service at Victoria Park Cenotaph (Event Begins at 10:30 am)
- Remembrance Day Service at Wilson Centre (Event Begins at 9:30am)
- Cenotaph Remembrance Service at Veterans Park (Event Begins at 11:00am)
- Remembrance Day Parade, Wreath-Laying and Cenotaph Service at Port Moody Legion Branch 119 (Event Begins at 10:30 am)
- Remembrance Day Parade and Official Ceremonies at City Hall (Event Begins at 10:20am)
- Surrey Remembers at the Surrey Museum and Surrey Archives (Event Begins at 9:30am)
- Remembrance Day Family Event at Surrey Centre Cemetery (Event Begins at 12:00pm)
- Remembrance Day Service at Memorial Arch in Memorial Park (Event Begins at 10:00 am)
Additional Events Related to Remembrance Day:
- Tuesday, November 10th: Grade 5 students from Shaughnessy Elementary will install over 200 red poppies made from recycled pop bottles painted with red, acrylic paint, on the grounds of Vancouver City Hall for Remembrance Day. The art project is inspired by the major art installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas’ at the tower of London, which was installed to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.