Editorial — The need for us to remember

There are many opportunities to do so in Langley on Sunday.

This Sunday is Remembrance Day. It is an important time to mark the sacrifices of soldiers in many past wars, who have made Canada what it is today.

Here in Langley, there will be many opportunities to mark the day. There will be services at the cenotaphs in Langley City and Fort Langley, and the Aldergrove Legion will also host Remembrance Day services.

All of these events will be focused primarily on the sacrifices made by the diminishing group of Second World War and Korean War veterans. They are the backbone of the  veterans’ community locally, and their efforts from 1939-1945 and 1950-53 were very significant.  Remembering takes on new importance as their ranks diminish due to aging.

It’s good that many younger people in Langley have taken this to heart in recent years, as attendance at Remembrance Day events has grown significantly. This ongoing interest in the very important role played by veterans is a gratifying sign that Canadians are remembering.

On Sunday afternoon, a significant   event takes place that focuses almost exclusively on the most recent sacrifice by Canadian veterans — in Afghanistan. As noted on this page last week, the effort by Canadian troops in Afghanistan has been a lengthy one and the exact result of all their work remains unclear.

What is very clear though, is that 158 of them lost their lives there, and Langley young people Elizabeth and  Michael Pratt are determined that they also are remembered. The Walk to Remember area of the Derek Doubleday Arboretum is a living memorial to these young soldiers, and a formal ceremony, which includes a dedication of a new structure which lists the name of the fallen takes place at 2 p.m.

The Walk to Remember is unique in Canada and is an impressive achievement for two young people to spearhead. It is totally in keeping with the other ways that we remember our veterans. and it is hoped there will be a good turnout at the dedication event.

It’s a reminder that those who died in war were young and missed much of their lives. They defended an ideal.

The important role played by the military in preserving our way of life is often not well understood, but on many occasions, young people have risen to the call to serve. Some of them made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is our duty to remember them.

It is the least that we can do.

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