Before the ride began, there was a service at the Afghanistan memorial in the Derek Doubleday arborteum. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Wounded Warriors ride to Victoria in memory of fallen soldiers

Cyclists travel to Victoria to honor memory of fallen Afghanistan veterans

The Wounded Warriors ride to remember the fallen from the Afghanistan conflict got underway in the rain at the Afghanistan Memorial at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in Langley Township Saturday morning.

The 35 cyclists took part in a memorial service before departing for downtown Vancouver and an eventual ferry ride to Victoria where the ride was set to end on the steps of the legislature on Sunday following a visit to the B.C. Afghanistan memorial.

A wreath was laid, the last post was played and the Ode of remembrance was read out.

The service honouring the 158 members of the Canadian Armed Forces who lost their lives in Afghanistan was conducted by the National Program Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, Phillip Ralph, the former Regimental Chaplain to the 32 Combat Engineer Regiment.

“I have done notifications for some of those names that are on that memorial, so it’s a very personal thing for me,” Ralph told The Times.

Ralph said Wounded Warriors, a national mental health charity that assists ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, first responders and their families came about because a member of his regiment was injured by a roadside bomber in Afghanistan.

The cyclists were accompanied on their ride through the Lower Mainland by a motorcycle escort provided by members of the Ubique Unit of the 3rd Canadian Army Veteran Motorcycle Units (3rd CAV), a group of veterans and supporters who ride motorcycles and campaigned successfully to have the stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Langley and Abbotsford dedicated as the “Highway of Heroes” in 2011.

READ MORE: B.C. Highway of Heroes dedicated

“We’re really happy that Wounded Warriors brought their event here,” said Barry “Brutus” Drews, the 3rd CAV member who spearhead the campaign.

We look forward to helping them in the future and wish them all great success.”

Jacqueline Zweng, the Highway of Heroes ride director said the B.C. event is the first time the Wounded Warriors have held a fundraising ride in B.C. and it is being held simultaneously with the original ride in Ontario, now in its third year with 120 participants expected to take part.

During the first two years of the Ontario ride, participants, donors and sponsors have raised nearly $500,000.

Zweng said there could be more rides in other regions of the country in the future.

“Our goal is to actually connect the country and continue to add (rides),” Zweng said.

Zweng said the length of the route was trimmed because of concerns about the poor air quality as a result of wildfires burning in B.C.

Despite the cool and damp conditions Saturday, the Metro Vancouver regional authority reported levels of fine particulate matter in Metro Vancouver and the Central Fraser Valley were still increasing due to smoke from wildfires within the region and elsewhere.

Township mayor Jack Froese, a former Vancouver Police Department member, rode his bicycle to the memorial to take part in the service.

“I think it’s a great cause,” Froese said.

“This ride not only supports our wounded soldiers but all our first responders as well.”

READ MORE: Honouring heroes at the Langley Afghanistan war memorial

From 2001 to 2014 more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members served in the Afghanistan theatre of operations.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Participants in the Wounded Warriors ride depart the Derek Doubleday arboretum in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Just Posted

The coroner on scene of a workplace fatality in Oak Bay on Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

(Black Press Media file photo)
Be prepared: Know what to do in the event of a Greater Victoria tsunami warning

Localized alert systems can provide potentially life-saving information

A mature Garry oak fell onto Richmond Road on Oct. 13 near Camosun College Lansdowne campus. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Garry oak crashes down onto Richmond Road

Saanich responded to 59 tree-related calls

The Kildonan mansion at 931 Foul Bay Rd. is part of the Oak Bay heritage registry. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay declines Kildonan House permissive tax exemption

Council briefs include new transformer for Oak Bay Rec., strata policy

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

Jamie Lee Hellard, a.k.a. the ‘chalk fairy,’ poses with one of her custom chalk drawings. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
VIDEO: Victoria chalk fairy brings smiles to kids with cancer

Jamie Lee Hellard surprises pediatric cancer patients with custom chalk drawings on their birthdays

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

Most Read