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

Langley-based charity Wellspring encourages virtual participation for Lake2Lake ride this weekend

Annual 200 km cycle across the Okanagan and Shuswap raises funds for Rwanda relief

Altercation with gunfire in Langley lands two in hospital

Quiet area of Brookswood was awoken at 5 a.m. Friday morning to a fight involving gun shots

PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

Shots reported near 194 Street and 34 Avenue, burned-out vehicle found in 18100-block of 12 Avenue

New Langley highway interchange site of morning crash

Motorists are encouraged to find another route for the rushhour

Gallery 7 launches series of online courses ranging from sound design to playwriting

Abbotsford theatre has plans to launch 2020-2021 season with live shows

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

Most Read