UBC Okanagan Remembrance Day ceremony honours fallen Canadian soldiers

We are able to worship "as we will in Synagogues, Mosques, Temples or the churches of our choice" because of their sacrifices

Matthew Hill

Remembrance Day ceremonies at UBC Okanagan Friday saw those gathered paying respects to the two soldiers recently killed on Canadian soil as well as those who served before them in wars in foreign countries.

As speakers took to the podium, they pointed out that the recent deaths of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was fatally shot at the National War Memorial in Ottawa Oct. 22, and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed in a deliberate hit-and-run in Quebec two days before that, put the concepts of service and sacrifice in sharp focus.

The acting dean of the university, Barb Rutherford, pointed out that their deaths “left our country in mourning.”

It also highlighted the remarkable resilience and compassion of Canadians across the country, said fourth year history student Tom MacCauley.

Days after Cirillo’s death, MacCauley ensured that UBC Okanagan students were in step with the rest of the country, in a “wear red” campaign that paid homage to the fallen soldier.

“From coast to coast people wore red in solidarity,” he said. He also pointed out that when racism reared its head as a response to the killing in Cold Lake, Alberta, with vandals damaging a mosque, it was quickly overshadowed by the volume of caring acts by more even minded Canadians.

Those kinds of acts of resilience and compassion are what bind us, he said.

This year’s ceremony  also marked the centennial of the beginning of WWI.

All of that war’s veterans are now dead, while the veterans of the WWII, which started just 25 years later, are dying at a rate of about 1,500 a day in North America.

Those men and women, and the sacrifices they made, said Reverend Dick Fletcher,  paved the way for Canadians to live freely.

We are able to worship “as we will in Synagogues, Mosques, Temples or the churches of our choice” because of them.

And how we as Canadians “treat the precious gifts that came from those sacrifices” is something we should all consider.

We need to “reflect on that debt that we owe and can never repay,” Fletcher said.


Just Posted

Column: Make it a green Christmas

Instead of purchasing a cuddly stuffie this year, put your money towards helping the real thing.

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Kelowna city councillor suggests bringing back photo radar

Gail Given says it could help generate traffic fine revenue for the city—and make roads safer

‘Game changer” research deal between three B.C. Interior universities

UBCO, TRU, UNBC say deal will help innovation, research, aid students and increase quality of life

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Lind nets three in Rockets win; Dube and Foote named to Canada’s roster

Kole Lind returns from national junior camp to lead Rockets to victory in P.A.

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Annual Christmas meal held as Kelowna Gospel Mission

The meal will be held tomorrow from 12 to 6 p.m.

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read