|Mounted VPD escort|
The weather wasn't perfect, I'm guessing someone stepped in some horse poop at some point (left by the Mounted escort from the VPD, there was presumable no other horses on west 4th that.), there were hecklers, and the sound system wasn't turned on until half way through the speeches, but you couldn't hear them anyway because the fire trucks were lowering their hydrolically controlled ladders the whole time (Buuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, EeeeeeEEEEeeeeee, click into place, other truck, Buuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, EeeeeeEEEEeeeeee, click into place. Drive away very loudly.)
|Flag over 4th|
That being said, even though I’ve only had the privilege of the Seaforths company since last December (when I started volunteering with their musuem, helping them with their textile collection), I found it quite an emotional event.
|The last time that flag would fly|
Beside the fact that my Man was the lucky (read:cool, calm, and collected) soldier chosen to lower the Canadian Flag, and hand it off to a WWII veteran standing by (I think I was much more nervous than he was), it was an amazingly sombre moment. Seeing all the troops lined up on Burrard street facing the armoury, all I could think was, the last time they marched out in the fashion was in 1939, (and yes your knowledge of history is correct) to go to war.
Rob MacDonald (now retired from the Army, but still tirelessly devoting his free time to the Seaforth Museum), accepting the flag from the WWII veteran, so that it could be retired and put on display in the now dispersed museum at Jericho.
Standing on the grass, I was suddenly overcome with a greater appreciation for our army than I’ve felt before (and that’s saying something, considering almost every member of my family was either in, or has some connections with the army). Looking back now, a few days later, I can see the faces of my contemporaries, my friends, and even my Man, and I know, they have all volunteered, and there’s a possibility they could be called upon to serve their country, and I am only proud.
|Moving down 4th Avenue, not an average Sunday sight|
I watched them march up Burrard, and then (thankfully) got in my car and drove up the Jericho along Cornwall. I waited just past Alma and 4th, and caught a glimpse of the formidable sight coming down 4th, over the crest of hill. It was truly a sight to see.
The then marched on to the grounds at Jericho Garrison, where there were a few speeches (some as aforementioned, went unheard), but there was one that resonated well with the crowd.
|Outside Jericho Brigade|
Jim Short, the Seaforth Padre, and former area Padre, as well at the minister at my aunts church in Ladner (I live in a very small world) , gave a well worded speech with one very central and resonating theme. Home is where the heart is.
The Seaforths are not a small unit, and they are taking over a space much, MUCH smaller that the space they previously enjoyed. That being said, with most people being (understandably) uncertain of their new surroundings, the phrase "Home is where the Heart is" rang true. There's is such heart among those people, that there is no question in my mind that Jericho could be a good home for them for a while, and the march back, I'm sure, is going to be even more epic.
The whole day was a rare thing to see, and I feel so happy that I know all those great people, and was able to see it happen.
|Rob MacDonald accepting the flag|
The drinks leading late into the night didn't hurt either ;) (Thanks Candace!)
The Seaforth Museum curator, Rob MacDonald, captured the days events well in a Facebook post:
A long but (bittersweet) good day. The parade went off without any visible hitch, the media turned-out in unprecedented number (I was interviewed by CBC Radio/TV, Global TV, CKNW Radio, God knows who else).
The troops didn't visibly react to the 3 munters who called them 'babykillers' and 'murderers', nor to the three women who flashed their paps...but everyone gave a subtle eyes-right to the old lady who proudly held up a hand-lettered sign which read "My father was a Seaforth Highlander in 1939!"...
designing a life of appriciation