Every year, at the 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month, Canadians gather to remember the more than 100,000 Canadian soldiers who have died in wars and peacekeeping efforts over the past 100 years.
Across Canada, November 11 ceremonies take on extra significance. In January the Government of Canada declared 2005 to be the Year of the Veteran to recognize the contributions of Canadian soldiers, as well as to mark the 60 th anniversary of the end of World War II. Over the course of the summer groups of Canadian WWII veterans, who fought in battles throughout Europe and Asia, revisited sites where the decisive battles of the time were fought.
"This will be the last Remembrance Day for many of those soldiers, who are in their 80s and 90s now. There wont be such a large contingent of Canadian veterans to mark the next milestones or 70 th anniversary," said Brian Bucholz, who is organizing Whistlers Remembrance Day ceremony.
He has contacted veterans from the Sea to Sky corridor to ask them to be a part of the ceremonies, and hopes that a few will join the ceremony.
If you wish to take part in this years Remembrance Day ceremony, come to the village fire hall at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will start at 10:45 a.m. sharp with a short parade of veterans, active military personnel, RCMP, Whistler Fire Services, and conservation officers. Once assembled around the cenotaph, there will be poetry readings and other traditional observances leading up to the traditional two minutes of silence at 11 a.m.
This year representatives from the Army, Navy and Air Force will be in Whistler to lay wreaths at the cenotaph outside the fire hall. The soldiers will be accompanied by members of the local Girl Guides.
There will also be a presentation by the Whistler Childrens Chorus and a now traditional helicopter flyby after the period of silence.
"Remembrance Day is becoming more important now that we are starting to lose many of our veterans, to show that their sacrifices will not be forgotten," said Bucholz. "Forty-two thousand Canadians died in World War II, and 115,000 Canadians died in wars over the past century. Those are just horrific numbers and it really put things into context. Its not too much to ask that we remember them."