Maritime Forces Pacific public affairs officer Lt. Melissa Kia stands next to the Cross of Sacrifice in the war graves section of Ross Bay cemetery. The southwest corner of the cemetery, near Dallas Road, is the site for one of numerous Remembrance Day ceremonies happening around the region on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 11 a.m. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Ross Bay cemetery ceremony little-known, but meaningful

Service is an undertaking of the Naval Fleet School in Esquimalt

The observance of Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 in Canada is an activity that brings together community members of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicities and walks of life.

While long-standing traditions have developed around ceremonies at the B.C. legislature cenotaph downtown, Memorial Park in Esquimalt, Uplands Park in Oak Bay and other sites around the region, a newer ceremony in Victoria offers a quieter way to honour the city’s war dead.

Undertaken by the Naval Fleet School in Esquimalt, the Remembrance Day memorial around the Cross of Sacrifice and war graves section in Ross Bay cemetery offers a serene setting and a more intimate atmosphere than some of the larger services, but with equally meaningful elements.

“The Canadian Armed Forces recognize the importance of honouring our veterans and our fallen, across the nation during this important time of remembrance,” said Chief Petty Officer Second Class Yvan Vallières, Fleet School commandant. “We are proud to be able to offer as many ceremonies as possible in local communities, such as Ross Bay, to offer our respect for their bravery and sacrifice.”

Following a march in from the cemetery entrance at Fairfield Road at approximately 10:50 a.m., the ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., with local sailors reading the poem In Flanders Fields, and reciting the Naval Prayer and the Act of Remembrance. The ceremony will also include a bosun’s call to “pipe the still,” a navy tradition asking all present to stand still at attention, before the observance of two minutes of silence honouring fallen comrades. The laying of a wreath at the base of the cross, along with the laying of poppies, will wind up the service.

editor@vicnews.com

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