From babes in arms to Canada's seniors hundreds turned out Nov.11 for Whistler's Remembrance Day service at the village cenotaph.
The ranks of those there to remember and honour the nation's military were bolstered considerably by representatives from the 39 Signal Regiment in Vancouver. They joined service members from the British Army, the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps, along with the local fire department and RCMP detachment, First Responders and family of military personnel.
The crowd packed into the parking lot and staging area of the Whistler village firehall, spilling onto the village stroll and the pedestrian bridge over Lorimer Road as well.
Under a heavy sky which threatened rain, organizer Brian Buchholz asked those who attended to honour all who serve for wounds that are visible and the wounds that are unseen. He pointed out that for some the event itself can trigger unwanted feelings of anxiety and stress.
"In all conflicts of the 20th and 21st century, many Canadian soldiers, airman and sailors have known these emotional stresses," said Buchholz.
"Many quietly suffered without support and the understanding of their families, the miltary, their government, their neighbours — Canadians.
“On November 11th we remember the fallen, the young, the brave, the frightened, the innocent and wounded… we remember the sacrifice and we remember the loss.
"This morning, I have a tough ask and that is for each of us to remember those, both throughout history, but as well today who may have survived the bullets, the bombs, the gas and the IEDs — survivors yes, but who still came home with wounds both visible and unseeen.”
The call for Canada to recognize the long-term effect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on veterans, and those still serving, was a common thread in this year's Remembrance Day services across the country.
Ashante Cirillo, whose cousin Nathan was gunned down while standing guard at the National War Monument in Ottawa Oct.22, 2014, also addressed the Whistler service. She recalled Nathan's love of life and the great pride he felt at being part of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Said Prime Minister Trudeau in a statement: "We honour Canada's bravest, who stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies around the world. Every day, they face down the threat of terrorism, and protect the values we cherish most.
"...Today we stand sombre and silent, with poppies close to our hearts, and take the time to remember."
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