FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – Dozens of residents gathered around the Fort St. John Cenotaph on Thursday to pay their respects, while others watched the service virtually from home.

The ceremony was facilitated by Mike King, Sergeant at Arms of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 102. King began the service by welcoming residents and informing them that the ceremony this year will run longer than previous years due to there being no indoor program.

“The last while has been a different time than most of us has experienced in our lifetime,” King began.

“Today, I ask everyone to lay aside all mundane and spurious thoughts and for the next few minutes, concentrate on remembrance. Remembering that those brave souls that came before us some gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we could openly proclaim our thankfulness here today,” King said.

King then invited Gord Klassen to the cenotaph to say a prayer. While the prayer was recited, the Royal Canadian Cadet Corps 2276 marched down the street with flags.

Afterwards, King thanked the Cadets and remarked that this year marks 75 years of the Cadet Corps being in Fort St. John.

The ceremony continued with ‘O’ Canada’ and City Councillor Jim Lequiere reading a poem written by his 12-year-old granddaughter, Capri Wickham.

After Lequiere recited the poem, the Last Post was played followed by two minutes of silence.

Mayor Lori Ackerman acknowledged the sacrifices of veterans of all cultures.

“Today, we remember those we have lost. The Indigenous, the Metis, Inuit, and those of the many cultures who now call Fort St. John home. We honour all veterans who have fought for our country, and the allies that stood shoulder to shoulder with our Canadian soldiers,” Ackerman said.

She continued by saying this year’s ceremony was available online for residents to view and acknowledge the importance of remembrance.

“We remember those we’ve lost and loved not only for them, and their families, but also importantly for community, to mend, to heal, to live, and to never forget the importance and the value of peace, and justice,” Ackerman said.

Wreaths were then laid at the cenotaph.

King then closed the ceremony by saying,  “I remember when I was in school, Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities said it was the best of times and the worst of times and I look around here today. It’s the best time for Fort St. John,” King said.

“So great to see such a nice turnout today. It’s putting everything else aside and remembering our veterans, which supersedes everything else. I’d like to thank everyone who turned out to support this Remembrance Day ceremony,” King said.

Those who wish to view the recording of the Remembrance Day Ceremony can do so here.