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Remembrance Day in Vancouver: Lest We Forget

November 11th is a very special time of year for Canadians as it marks Remembrance Day. Through the poem, 'In Flanders Fields', by Canadian soldier John McCrae, we remember our fallen soldiers with bright red poppies on our lapels and attend the many ceremonies found throughout the city.

Poppies are synonymous with Remembrance Day in Canada.I hope you all have bought your poppies this week!

Today marks Remembrance Day - a day to be thankful for our freedoms and remember all who died to ensure that we Canadians would have a place to call home without conflict. I remember each November 11th in school the ceremonies, the poppies and assemblies with the reading of the haunting poem by Canadian solider John McCrae:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The Japanese War Memorial in Stanley Park sees dozens of wreaths to remember those who have died in conflicts.

There are many places around Vancouver to visit today for Remembrance Day ceremonies: Victoria Square near Gastown; The Monument to the Chinese Canadians in Chinatown; The Japanese Memorial behind the Vancouver Aquarium and other locales.

Yesterday I passed the twin lions on the Lions Gate Bridge on my way to North Vancouver and was humbled to see them adorned with poppy filled wreaths.

I hope you all enjoy Remembrance Day and take some time to reflect on what it is truly about.

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