As a larger-than-usual crowd gathered at the Duncan cenotaph to remember the battle of Vimy Ridge, everyone was reminded, by comments from the lectern and the half-staff flag, that Canada was mourning another group of young men who had died together.
It was an excellent opportunity for the Valley to also grieve for the young hockey players killed in Saskatchewan in a tragic accident just days before. The flag at half-staff reinforced the sadness of the occasion.
That tragedy also drove home the truth that many of the slain memorialized on the cenotaph were probably of an age with the hockey players, though they were mown down in a battle far across the sea.
As Legion member Ben Buss told the crowd some of the history of Vimy Ridge, and how it unified Canada in both pride and sorrow, the service took on a deeper meaning, according to comments heard afterwards.