PHOTOS: Langford Remembrance Day ceremony welcomes back in-person service

Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public stand for O Canada during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public stand for O Canada during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Flag party members stand in front of the cenotaph during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Flag party members stand in front of the cenotaph during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Premier John Horgan lays a wreath on behalf of the B.C. Government Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Premier John Horgan lays a wreath on behalf of the B.C. Government Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
The parade stands in front of the cenotaph Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)The parade stands in front of the cenotaph Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
A memorial stone is surrounded by poppies placed during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)A memorial stone is surrounded by poppies placed during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public place poppies on the cenotaph following the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public place poppies on the cenotaph following the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford Thursday. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Brig.-Gen. David Awalt, deputy commander 3rd Canadian Division, salutes after placing a wreath on the cenotaph Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Brig.-Gen. David Awalt, deputy commander 3rd Canadian Division, salutes after placing a wreath on the cenotaph Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Members of the parade remove their headdress and bow their heads for a prayer Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Members of the parade remove their headdress and bow their heads for a prayer Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 president Norman Scott speaks Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 president Norman Scott speaks Thursday during the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremony in Langford. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

West Shore residents were able to pay their respects to Canada’s veterans in person for the first time since the pandemic began Thursday.

Despite a light drizzle, Langford’s Veterans Memorial Park was packed with veterans, Canadian Armed Forces members and the general public as Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 hosted the ceremony.

After the parade made its way into the park square and formed up in front of the cenotaph, Remembrance Day traditions including the playing of O Canada, God Save the Queen and Last Post, two minutes of silence and several prayers were held, followed by the laying of wreaths by Silver Cross Mother Lynn Steiner and Premier John Horgan, among others.

“I’m very impressed with the ceremony,” said Branch 91 president Norman Scott following the ceremony. “I was very impressed with the amount of people who turned out for it.”

Scott said being able to welcome the public to the ceremony in person once again was a highlight of this year’s ceremony.

“It makes me certain they understand and are hearing the story of remembrance, and they are participating in that story.”

Horgan, who continues to recover from surgery and a cancer diagnosis, said he was proud to attend the ceremony, which he noted was the second time for him attending a Remembrance Day ceremony following cancer surgery, having also done so in 2008.

“It’s always special to participate in a ceremony, and to remember those who gave their lives,” said Horgan. “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

Two other Remembrance Day ceremonies were held on the West Shore Thursday morning, with Colwood’s ceremony being held virtually, and Metchosin’s in person.

READ ALSO: ‘I don’t know how I did it’: A teenage bomber pilot’s perfect but perilous missions high above Europe

READ ALSO:QUIZ: A time for remembrance


@JSamanski
justin.samanski-langille@goldstreamgazette.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Remembrance DayRoyal Canadian LegionVeteransWest Shore