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Remembering the Queen

Passing of Elizabeth II marked at downtown Squamish cenotaph.

For all of us for whom Queen Elizabeth II has been a lifelong fixture, Sept. 19 marked the first time God Save the King was sung at a legion-led ceremony at the downtown cenotaph.

To mark the passing of the monarch, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 277 held a remembrance ceremony at Stan Clarke park. A procession of flag bearers marched around the cenotaph.

Dozens were gathered for the occasion, which included the singing of O Canada, a trumpet performance of the Reveille call, the bagpiper's lament and a few moments of silence.

A legion member, along with the current acting mayor of Squamish, Armand Hurford, also laid a wreath.

The president of the legion, Russ Robertson, told The Squamish Chief the occasion was modelled after the legion's annual Remembrance Day ceremonies.

"We just want to show respect for what I think was an amazing role model and leader," said Robertson.

"She's the only Queen I've known, and, for many people, the only Queen they've ever known."

Monday's ceremony was the same day a state funeral was held for the long-reigning monarch in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Prior to that, a multiple-day viewing of the Queen's casket prompted people to line up — sometimes for more than 24 hours — to say a fond farewell to the matriarch of Britain and the Commonwealth.

Here in Squamish, the ceremony was more modest, but residents were afforded a similar opportunity for a brief moment.

"She's always had amazing decorum, and, just, leadership, and all the things I think that we want to see out of our leaders — and she actually did that," said Robertson. "So I think she's a remarkable woman and a remarkable leader."


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