VIDEO: a second Remembrance Day ceremony planned for Murrayville cenotaph

VIDEO: a second Remembrance Day ceremony planned for Murrayville cenotaph

Organizers are planning for more people after the first event drew a bigger-than-expected crowd

There will be a second annual Remembrance Day service at the Murrayville cenotaph in Langley.

“We made up our mind after the service (last year) that this was definitely going to be an annual thing,” said Grace Muller, one of the event organizers.

Planning got underway in earnest at a Sept. 11 meeting of volunteers, Muller said.

“We reviewed what went well (last year), what definitely needed improvement.”

When the group of volunteers arranged the first formal Remembrance Day event at the cenotaph, they optimistically projected a turnout of between 50 and 100 people, so they printed 100 programs.

Expecting a small group, they used a low-power portable sound system. Then, more than 300 people turned out.

The volunteers quickly ran out of programs and many attendees had trouble hearing the speeches.

Despite the difficulties, participants were full of praise for the smaller-scale event and many urged the organizers to make it an annual tradition.

“We’ll allow for more people,” Muller said.

“We’ll need a better sound system.”

At the first service, a pre-recorded tape of a pipe band was used to accompany the RCMP honour guard as they marched in.

This year, Muller said, there will be live music.

On Monday, the organizers sent out email invitations to local dignitaries and the response was immediate.

“We already have (MP) Mark Warawa confirmed as attending,” Muller said.

“That email went out about 30 minutes ago. There’s definitely an interest.”

This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War that claimed the lives of more than 60,000 Canadians.

The fighting for the Canadians ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which ever since has been when two minutes of silence is observed to remember the fallen during Remembrance Day ceremonies at memorial sites across the country.

READ MORE: More than 300 people attended the very first formal Remembrance Day ceremony at the Murrayville cemetery.

Until last year, the Murrayville cenotaph had never been the site of a formal ceremony, but there have been quiet, informal gatherings, every Remembrance Day.

The Murrayville memorial is a twin to the Fort Langley monument.

Both were erected in 1921 to honour local soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War, and have since been dedicated to soldiers from the Second World War as well.

Anyone who wants to help with the 2018 ceremony is asked to email Muller at mul0823@shaw.ca or Rosemary Genberg at povertyhill@shaw.ca.

In Langley City, where the local Legion closed earlier this year, discussions are underway between the City and regional Legion officials to have Remembrance Day ceremonies continue at the Douglas Park cenotaph, at 20399 Douglas Cres.

READ MORE: Fort Langley ceremony honours fallen on Nov. 11

READ MORE: Murrayville better prepared to host second Remembrance Day ceremony

READ MORE: Aldergrove will pause to Remember



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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