Silence will once again fall over the Richmond cenotaph on Monday at exactly 11 a.m. to remember and pay respects to Canadian soldiers.
Those who want to observe Richmond’s Remembrance Day service should come early as “timing is critical,” explained Matthew McBride, head of the annual event’s organizing committee.
He noted that often people come to the service at the last minute or even after 11 a.m. and miss out.
McBride has been the MC of the Richmond Remembrance Day service for 10 years, and he said the ceremony has remained largely the same since the 1930s for a reason.
“The idea is to maintain the ritual,” McBride said, adding that “the death of a soldier is timeless.”
The 1,000-strong parade will marshal in the city hall parking lot and the parkade at Richmond Centre. They will march down Granville Avenue at 10:25 a.m., turning north on No. 3 Road and muster at the cenotaph. The official ceremonies start at 10:40 a.m. Two minutes of silence will start at exactly 11 a.m., commemorating the end of the First World War on Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the laying of wreaths.
The ceremony will be streamed into city hall chambers where seating will be prioritized for those who can’t stand. The ceremony can also be watched online at richmond.ca.
Traffic will be restricted between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. around city hall, on Granville Avenue from Buswell Street to Minoru Boulevard and on No. 3 Road from Park Road to Bennett Road.
Several thousand people usually come to the ceremony — up to 5,000 when the weather is good, McBride said.
The ceremony will be followed by a Remembrance Day reception at the City Hall Galleria, to which the public is invited.
While the ceremony begins by recognizing the soldiers who served in the First World War, over the years, Canadian soldiers who served in other wars have also been honoured every year.
“There is one focus of Remembrance Day – to remember Canada’s war debt,” McBride said.