Veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members, alongside dozens of spectators in downtown Victoria, gathered at the legislature grounds Friday to honour the country’s peacekeepers.
The ceremony, at the cenotaph outside the British Columbia Parliament Buildings, marked National Peacekeepers’ Day.
National Peacekeepers’ Day lands annually on Aug. 9 to mark the day in 1974 when nine Canadian peacekeepers died. The Canadian Armed Forces members, on a resupply mission, were killed when their United Nations-marked Canadian transport aircraft was shot down by Syrian missiles.
“It was the largest single-day loss of Canadian Armed Forces personnel in a peace support operation,” according to Veterans Affairs Canada.
Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke MP Randall Garrison attended Friday’s ceremony and spoke briefly to the crowd before Capt. Sam Sader took the podium. Sader, the commander of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, was the guest of honour.
The commemoration was highlighted by a ceremony in which dignitaries placed poppies in a wreath at the cenotaph. Vintage military vehicles were also on display, and the Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Centre’s service band was also on hand.
Jim MacMillan-Murphy, president of the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association, organized the event.