In one of his final public appearances as British Columbia’s premier, John Horgan attended a small Remembrance Day ceremony in Sooke, B.C., on Friday.
The premier laid a wreath at the municipal cenotaph, far from the B.C. legislature in Victoria where the province’s official Remembrance Day ceremony was underway.
“Sooke has been an integral part of my life starting as a little boy swimming at the Potholes,” Horgan told CTV News following the commemoration ceremony.
“Sooke is the place I needed to be,” Horgan added. “I’m [in] Langford every other year but because of the pandemic I haven’t been here since 2018 for this service. So it was really important for me that this be the last place I do this as premier.”
The premier’s parents met during the Second World War when both were stationed at Patricia Bay, north of Victoria. His father was in the army and his mother was in the air force, he said.
“So the war was a time of people coming together,” he said. “It was a time when we recognized the freedoms here in Canada are so precious, so vital, and we’re remembering that today.”
The premier’s office issued a statement earlier Friday, saying Remembrance Day ceremonies were occurring “in an uncertain global landscape” and pointing to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “conflicts around the world that threaten people’s lives, freedom and democracy.”
He said the moment of silence held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is a moment for personal reflections on the horror and pain of war.
“We remember the fallen, and we recognize the loss of the grandparents, parents, spouses and children left behind,” his statement said.