Those who gave their lives in battle were remembered Thursday at the UBC Okanagan campus during the university’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony.
Despite a heavy and persistent snowfall, a crowd of about 100 people tuned out for the ceremony, which featured speakers, including Lt.-Col. Mike McGinty, the commanding officer of the B.C. Dragoons in Kelowna. Wreaths were also laid on behalf of the university and the local Royal Canadian Legion.
McGinty, who is also the associate director of risk management services at UBCO, spoke of the men and women he remembers at this time of year, men and women who did not come home from battle.
“War is a terrible business,” he said, adding life can be too, if not for the freedoms afforded Canadians by those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the past.
He said it’s important to mark Remembrance Day—albeit two days early—on the university campus because universities are places of free thought and expression.
“And that free thought and expression has been bought at a cost by our predecessors and current (military).”
McGinty said it’s important to bring that sacrifice from the abstract and that was why he spoke of the men and women he was thinking about Thursday and wanted to tell their stories.
UBCO deputy vice-chancellor and Okanagan campus principal Deborah Buszard said the annual event is important to the university for a number of reasons, including the fact the university in Kelowna has a close relationship with the B.C. Dragoons.
“It’s an important piece of our Canadian heritage,” said Buszard about Remembrance Day. “And we continue on with these events to honour the memory of the people who have given us the freedoms we all enjoy today.”
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