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Vernon remembers

Richmond townsfolk observe a moment of silence with soldiers during a remembrance ceremony in 1955. Vernon citizens are encouraged to attend the Battle of the Atlantic memorial service Sunday at Cenotaph Park at sunset. - Richmond Cenotaph/1955 photo
Richmond townsfolk observe a moment of silence with soldiers during a remembrance ceremony in 1955. Vernon citizens are encouraged to attend the Battle of the Atlantic memorial service Sunday at Cenotaph Park at sunset.
— image credit: Richmond Cenotaph/1955 photo

Vernon will pay tribute to the lives lost at sea in the longest continuous military campaign of the Second World War.

The Battle of the Atlantic, running from 1939 to victory in 1945, was the greatest battle the Royal Canadian Navy fought. But in doing so it also lost more than 2,000 sailors and 32 ships (another 300 sailors were wounded).

In honour of all the sailors, soldiers and airmen who lost their lives at sea, a memorial service is conducted across Canada on the first Sunday in May of each year.

Vernon is joining the ranks as the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 63 Kalamalka conducts the Battle of the Atlantic memorial service at the Vernon Cenotaph Memorial Park May 6 at 7:30 p.m.

“I think it’s important for us to remember the sacrifices our parents, grandparents and great grandparents have made for us and our country,” said Ian Furstrand, RCSCC Kalamalka sub-lieutenant, executive officer.

Considered the Naval Remembrance Day, the ceremony is similar to Remembrance Day events.

A small, private ceremony used to occur at Pleasant Valley cemetery, but this is the first public event taking place at the cenotaph and hosted by the local cadets.

The service takes place at sunset and includes a reading of the ships that went down, a poem, singing and sounds of a trumpet playing Sunset.

“It’s symbolic on the sun setting on the sailors who have passed away,” said Furstrand, who helps administer cadet programs locally.

It is hoped that as the event grows over the years, awareness will be raised on what the ceremony means and what sacrifices fellow Canadians made to protect and serve us in the past, as well as today.

“I think it’s sad that so many veterans have passed and are not here to help us remember,” said 32-year-old Furstrand, a Richmond native who has been attending the service every year since he was 12.

 

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