Volunteer Russell Townsend shares a name with his late uncle, a bomber tailgunner who died during the Second World War. Black Press photo Volunteer Russell Townsend shares a name with his late uncle, a bomber tailgunner who died during the Second World War. Black Press photo

VIDEO: Remembrance Day in Fort Langley

For one volunteer, it was personal

An estimated crowd of more than 5,000 people attended the Remembrance Day service at the historic Fort Langley cemetery, the largest memorial event in the Langleys, on Sunday.

The event marked 100 years to the day that the fighting ended on the western front, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

“It (the armistice that ended the First World War) is the basis of where world peace started,” said Andy Schildhorn, the chair of the Fort Langley Remembrance Day committee.”

“The idea was born then. Even though we have conflicts and wars today, I think the idea of world peace is gaining ground and that hopefully, one day, we won’t have a need for war.”

Historian and author Warren Sommer read out a list of 45 “men and boys from Langley known to have lost their lives during that horrendous conflict” in order from the oldest to the youngest confirmed age, ranging from 44 to 18.

For long-time Remembrance Day volunteer Russell Townsend, the event always brings back memories of the uncle he physically resembles, also named Russell Townsend, who was a tailgunner who died during the Second World War.

Growing up, he remembers his father Clarence and his grandmother Rudy getting a “little sad” around Remembrance Day.

“I remember my grandmother telling me how young he [my uncle] was,” Townsend said.

“We all get to stand here because of what these soldiers went through.”

Townsend, a former president of the Fort Langley Lions Club, is one of at least 10 Lions who helped put the event together this year.

He was pleased to see increased participation by young people.

“Every year more and more scouts show up,” he said.

“It’s good because they can go back into history”

READ MORE: Fort Langley ceremony honours fallen

Marilyn Gabriel, chief of the Kwantlen First Nation, spoke at the ceremony, saying it is important that young people remember the tragedy of war.

“How do you honour a lost loved one, especially a hero, a true warrior?” Gabriel said.

“You talk about them, you honour them by saying their names all the time. That is how you honour them so we never forget. You teach these little ones, we won’t be standing here doing this for our fallen heroes ever again.”

There was a new element at the Fort Langley event, an an act of peaceful recognition at the cenotaph by cadets who took up position at four points around the cenotaph before the ceremony began.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Virus Busters assemble to take on COVID-19 germs in Langley

A team of 20 business owners and employees are working to kill viral bacteria in public places

VIDEO: Langley schools transition students to at-home learning

During the next two weeks a new model will be rolled out to parents, pupils of kids in public school

Two Fraser Valley care home workers confirmed to have COVID-19

Health authority has a team at a Langley and a Surrey seniors facilities informing staff, residents

Why is this Langley pedestrian bridge purple?

Cole Harmony Bridge connects pedestrians to either side of 68th Avenue at 200th Street

VIDEO: Langley women makes homemade masks for neighbours amid COVID-19 pandemic

Masks are made of paper towel, elastic bands, and staples

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read