I attended the Remembrance Day service in our community today. I was impressed with the size of the crowd and the measure of respect that was shown. I think the fact that there's a strong military presence in Victoria adds to the significance of the moment. There were so many members in uniform. As the Last Post was being played, they stood at attention and saluted. It was very moving.
Remembrance Day marks an anniversary for me personally. I moved to BC in 1986 and arrived here on Remembrance Day. Barb was already here and I was on my way to Duncan to serve as the Youth Pastor there. I remember driving the Coquihalla in some of the worst conditions I've ever seen on that road. My car was fully loaded and the downhill grade after the toll both was covered with wet, early winter snow. If you've ever been there, you'll know that the grade is quite steep. Being from the prairies, I didn't know what I was getting into and was soon hurtling down the slippery road at about 100km, which was far too fast for the conditions. When I touched the brakes, the car started to slide. The snow was falling so fast there was no bare pavement or sand to provide traction. I felt like I was on a bobsled ride and hoped and prayed for the best. Thankfully, the infamous 'snowshed' appeared on the horizon. I knew that my best hope was to make it onto the bare pavement inside the shed. I'm certain I held my breath as I my speed approached 140 km on the way down to the shed. I remember breathing a profound prayer of thanks as I flew into the snowshed. While the grade diminishes considerably after that, I'm pretty certain that I crawled the rest of the way to Abbotsford that night.
It's hard to believe that 22 years have passed since then. They have been good years for which I am very thankful, but I often think back to my first trip down the 'Coq' on Remembrance Day.