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Candlelight tribute to precede Remembrance Day

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Whistler will join thousands of other communities around the world this year in holding a Veterans’ Week Candlelight Tribute.

The vigil will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cenotaph in front of Whistler’s main fire hall, at the corner of Village Gate Boulevard and Blackcomb Way, on Saturday, Nov. 10.

Last year more than 12,000 candles were lit in B.C.

"I know that with the tragedy in New York and the uncertainty of events overseas, hopefully some people will find comfort being together with friends and family at the service," said organizer Brian Bucholz.

The short ceremony will include live music, poems, prayer, and the placing of candles. Some "24-hour-candles" will be on sale at the cenotaph or you may bring and place your own candle.

The Candlelight Tribute is part of a new homage to fallen servicemen and women started by the people of the Netherlands in 1995.

At that time the citizens of the Netherlands commemorated the liberation of their country by Canadian Forces in 1945, at the end of the Second World War.

Dutch children placed lighted candles on the graves of overseas soldiers as a silent tribute. Throughout the night people from many surrounding towns visited the cemeteries, drawn by the soft red glow of the candles burning in the sacred picturesque settings.

The first B.C. Candlelight Tribute was held in 1997 at Mountainview Cemetery in Vancouver, where 500 children placed lighted candles on the grave sites of soldiers.

Candles will also be lit this year in Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and Ottawa.

Representatives of Whistler’s veteran community, Pemberton, and Squamish Royal Canadian Legions, serving Canadian Military members, service clubs, and Scout and Guiding communities, will also take part in the local ceremonies.

A sweet touch will be added by Whistler firefighters who will be handing out hot chocolate.

Whistler’s 20 th Remembrance Day Ceremony will be held the following Sunday, Nov. 11 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Cenotaph. Blackcomb Helicopters will, for the fourth consecutive year, do a fly-by as part of the ceremonies.

At the 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month — Whistler will stop and join with millions of other people in honouring those who have fallen in battle with two minutes of silence.

More than 100,000 Canadians have been killed in action in the Great War 1914-1918, WW II 1939-1945, Korea 1950-1953, and the Gulf War, and in more than 65 peace keeping actions since 1947.

All over Whistler people are already sporting their red poppies, long offered to Canadians as a way of remembering those lost in battle.

Money collected assists ex-service members and their families across Canada.

The money is used to purchase medical equipment, pay for medical research and training, build affordable housing for Veterans and seniors, pay for student bursaries, and provide support services, like meals on wheels, for senior citizens.

Municipal Hall, RCMP offices, schools, banks, Marketplace, and Nesters are just a few of the locations poppies can be found.

More than 30 titles are available at the library for those who would like to find out more about war, remembrance, and peace.

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