Cyclists travel to Victoria to honor memory of fallen Afghanistan veterans
The Wounded Warriors ride to remember the fallen from the Afghanistan conflict got underway in the rain at the Afghanistan Memorial at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum in Langley Township Saturday morning.
The 35 cyclists took part in a memorial service before departing for downtown Vancouver and an eventual ferry ride to Victoria where the ride was set to end on the steps of the legislature on Sunday following a visit to the B.C. Afghanistan memorial.
A wreath was laid, the last post was played and the Ode of remembrance was read out.
The service honouring the 158 members of the Canadian Armed Forces who lost their lives in Afghanistan was conducted by the National Program Director of Wounded Warriors Canada, Phillip Ralph, the former Regimental Chaplain to the 32 Combat Engineer Regiment.
“I have done notifications for some of those names that are on that memorial, so it’s a very personal thing for me,” Ralph told The Times.
Ralph said Wounded Warriors, a national mental health charity that assists ill and injured Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, first responders and their families came about because a member of his regiment was injured by a roadside bomber in Afghanistan.
The cyclists were accompanied on their ride through the Lower Mainland by a motorcycle escort provided by members of the Ubique Unit of the 3rd Canadian Army Veteran Motorcycle Units (3rd CAV), a group of veterans and supporters who ride motorcycles and campaigned successfully to have the stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Langley and Abbotsford dedicated as the “Highway of Heroes” in 2011.