When Pipe Major Garth Newlands led his bagpipe band onto the field of BC Place on Saturday evening in a tribute to veterans, 36,000 football fans cheered, “thank you.”
“It’s all about passing on the torch,” said Newlands, whose Surrey bagpipe band includes members of all ages.
The tribute was one of many events featured in this year’s Veterans’ Week, which will culminate in celebrations on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Remembrance Day celebrates the end of hostilities on Nov. 11, 1918, and recalls fallen soldiers and veterans of all wars in the Commonwealth.
Attend a local parade in solidarity with fallen soldiers
If you are staying in South Vancouver for Remembrance Day, you could visit the local parade from John Oliver Secondary School to the cenotaph in Memorial South Park.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 530 East 41st Avenue.
Langara teacher photographs history of veterans
Canada’s last First World War veteran died in 2010, and many Second World War veterans are in their 80s and older. This prompted David Scougal, photography instructor at Langara College, to portrait dozens of veterans in a photo series for the Royal Canadian Legion.
Scougal’s motivation was to never forget that generation, including his own father, who had served in the navy for 25 years.
Young veterans need support
Kevin Berry, 29, is a student at Simon Fraser University. He served and was severely injured in Afghanistan, later suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Together with five other plaintiffs, he started a class action lawsuit against the government’s new compensation plan, which bans lifelong pensions and other benefits for war veterans.
Berry was moved while visiting war cemeteries in Belgium and the Netherlands. “The vast majority of them was under 22. It was a bunch of kids.”
Funds from poppy pins support the troops
Technology specialist Noy Kongtakane purchased a poppy at the Langara reception desk. “My family was never touched by war. But I like the notion of supporting the troops and remembering the past,” she said.
The poppy boxes at Langara are collected by the local legion’s Branch No. 16, and the donations go to the Poppy Fund .
Berry has one message to students: “Take the time to go to a cenotaph and pay respect to those who guaranteed that you can now get an education and live an a country that is free of war.”
Reported by Katja De Bock
Photos: Katja De Bock