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VIDEO: Hundreds gather for Remembrance Day in Murrayville

The first in-person ceremony since the pandemic began saw smaller crowds than in 2019

Langley honoured Canada’s war dead and living veterans at a relatively small ceremony in Murrayville, along with virtual ceremonies in Langley City, Fort Langley, and Aldergrove on Thursday, Nov. 11.

Murrayville was the only of the four major cenotaphs around the community to offer a relatively large-scale event. While the event was much smaller than before the pandemic, several hundred people attended, mostly masked.

- Scroll to bottom for more photos

Fidel and Racquel Josol have three children serving currently in the Canadian Forces, with two sons in the Navy and their daughter in the Air Force.

But that isn’t their main reason for attending, said Racquel. the important thing for them is to remember what the military did to fight for Canada, and for peace.

“We always find time during this day,” said Fidel Josol.

The ceremony began with a procession of active duty Royal Canadian Navy, RCMP, firefighters, and local Scouting groups.

Grace Muller, a member of the organizing committee and the MC for the event, said she was excited to see the return of people for an in-person event.

READ ALSO: A Langley war bride remembers

She said Murrayville Cemetery was the idea venue, as it had a lot of space to spread out, and organizers had made sure the sound system would be able to reach everyone. The ceremony was also broadcast online.

The ceremony is also personal for Muller, who was born in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. Her father was in the Dutch underground, and she grew up hearing stories of the Canadian soldiers who liberated much of the Netherlands.

“Remembrance Day to me is always very special,” she said.

If the Netherlands hadn’t been liberated, she or others in her family might not have survived the occupation.

“I’m grateful to the Canadian Armed Forces, for being here.”

The service featured the singing of O Canada and Amazing Grace by Krysal McEwan, piping by John McCallum, and Bugling by Brian Parkinson.

A replica SE5 from the Canadian Museum of Flight flew over the ceremony, as did the Fraser Blues precision flying team.

Langley also saw ceremonies at Langley City’s cenotaph, at Aldergrove, and at Fort Langley, but those had restricted numbers of people or were livestreamed.

In Langley City, after the service was over, families and individuals came to lay their poppies on the cenotaph privately.

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Bugler Brian Parkinson played the Last Post at the Murrayville Remembrance Day ceremony. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Piper John McCallum led in a procession of RCMP officers, serving Navy personnel, firefighters, and Langley Scouts. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
A replica Sopwith biplane, the kind that would have been flown by the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War, was on display near the cenotaph. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Young Scouts were part of the ceremony. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Grace Muller was the master of ceremonies for the Murrayville Remembrance Day service. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Krysal McEwan sang O Canada at the Murrayville Remembrance Day service. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
After the ceremony, people placed poppies on the cenotaph. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Piper John McCallum led in a procession of RCMP officers, serving Navy personnel, firefighters, and Langley Scouts. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
A smaller ceremony, with few spectators, was held at the cenotaph at Fort Langley. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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