VIDEO: Unique service at Cobble Hill cenotaph honours military who fell ‘at home’

Duncan Town Crier Ben Buss plays ‘The Last Post’ during ceremony at Cobble Hill cenotaph forDuncan Town Crier Ben Buss plays ‘The Last Post’ during ceremony at Cobble Hill cenotaph for
James Baird completes his 29-vigil at the Cobble Hill cenotaph. He joins his friend, Bob Collins, who started the vigil three years ago. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)James Baird completes his 29-vigil at the Cobble Hill cenotaph. He joins his friend, Bob Collins, who started the vigil three years ago. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
James Baird completes his 29-vigil at the Cobble Hill cenotaph. He joins his friend, Bob Collins, who started the vigil three years ago. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)James Baird completes his 29-vigil at the Cobble Hill cenotaph. He joins his friend, Bob Collins, who started the vigil three years ago. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The Malahat Legion Br. 134 colour party marches in to officially begin the unique service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)The Malahat Legion Br. 134 colour party marches in to officially begin the unique service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Prayers are given in both English and French to honour service personnel who have fallen on duty on Canadian soil. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Prayers are given in both English and French to honour service personnel who have fallen on duty on Canadian soil. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Ben Buss, who has a great interest in military history, plays an old army bugle at the ceremony. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Ben Buss, who has a great interest in military history, plays an old army bugle at the ceremony. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Duncan Town Crier Ben Buss plays ‘The Last Post’ on a military bugle. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Duncan Town Crier Ben Buss plays ‘The Last Post’ on a military bugle. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Warrant Officer Bryanna Wilson, of 2442 Nanaimo of the Canadian Scottish cadets, holds vigil with her family and friends. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Warrant Officer Bryanna Wilson, of 2442 Nanaimo of the Canadian Scottish cadets, holds vigil with her family and friends. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Warrant Officer Bryanna Wilson, of 2442 Nanaimo of the Canadian Scottish cadets, says she feels a responsibility to set an example. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Warrant Officer Bryanna Wilson, of 2442 Nanaimo of the Canadian Scottish cadets, says she feels a responsibility to set an example. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Saluting during ‘O Canada’ is part of the solemnity of the service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Saluting during ‘O Canada’ is part of the solemnity of the service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Saluting during ‘O Canada’ is part of the solemnity of the service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Saluting during ‘O Canada’ is part of the solemnity of the service. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Everyone, of every age, joins in the singing of ‘O Canada’ to honour those military personnel who fell ‘at home’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Everyone, of every age, joins in the singing of ‘O Canada’ to honour those military personnel who fell ‘at home’. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

It takes more than rain to keep Cowichan Valley folks from honouring the fallen.

They came out in good numbers on Saturday morning, Oct. 22, to the Cobble Hill Cenotaph to celebrate the end of the vigil held there to remember Canadian armed forces men and women who have lost their lives while serving within Canada.

The Malahat District Legion, Branch #134, is the only Legion in Canada to hold a special event at the cenotaph to honour these fallen, and they did so, joining those who had held vigil during the night in a memorial service.

The date, Oct. 22, was selected, according to Legion president Wilf Nash, “to signify our respect for those who guard Canada, readily serving on a daily basis in the armed forces. They have given their lives, not in war, or during peacekeeping deployment, but in the inherently dangerous everyday duty of keeping our nation safe and strong.

“Their names are displayed in two volumes within the memorial books at the branch’s main entrance. Volume One lists those who served from the formation of the Canadian Armed Forces on Feb. 1, 1968 to the present. Volume Two includes those who served between 1911 and Feb. 1, 1968.”

The list is already nearly 2,400 names long and is not complete even yet, Nash said.

Prayers, marching in the colours, the laying of a wreath, and the presence of veterans and cadets were all as expected on Remembrance Day. But this showing of respect was for those who died at home.

James Baird, and Brianna Wilson were among those who joined vigil originator Bob Collins on his 29-hour stand at the cenotaph. Both said they felt it was important to set an example in remembering this sort of sacrifice.

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