The Langley Senior Resource Society centre annual Remembrance Day service was a mix of tradition and new as a way to honour dead soldiers, veterans, and those still serving.
“We owe so much to those who came before us who allowed us to have these freedoms. I am forever in their debt for that, because they lost so much and they gave everything,” said Loretta Solomon, seniors centre board president.
There were the traditional elements such as the playing of the O Canada, the Lament, and Last Post, but also new traditions such as a reading about the memorial wreaths, and the poppy.
“The idea for the remembrance poppy was imagined by Madame Anna Guérin of France. She was inspired by John McCrae’s poem In Flanders Fields,” said Larry Nash, a member of the senior centre choir.
The idea spread and the Great War Veterans’ Association (precursor to the Royal Canadian Legion) adopted the remembrance poppy in 1921.
“Thanks to the millions of Canadians who wear the lapel poppy every November, the little flower has never died, and the memory of those who fell in battle remains strong,” Nash said.
The senior centre choir performed White Cliffs of Dover, a Second World War-era song about what a soldier is looking forward to upon his return home (bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, Jimmy going to sleep in his own little room again, and peace ever after, tomorrow when the world is free).
“We give thanks for those who believe that the world can be a better place,” said executive director Kate Ludlam in a prayer. “We remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, trusting that others could and would carry the torch.”