Heavy security presence at Chilliwack Remembrance Day services.

Heavy security is the new norm

Road blocks and semiautomatic weapons signal change at Remembrance Day services

As Chilliwack residents gathered to remember the sacrifices made to secure our freedoms, they were reminded last week that the battle is far from over.

Security at Remembrance Day services here and elsewhere in the country has grown progressively tighter since the 2014 murder of an unarmed soldier guarding the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa. The death of Corp. Nathan Cirillo, coupled with the killing of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent two days earlier, brought the risk of terror attacks here at home sharply into focus.

For the first time that Remembrance Day (which fell just three weeks after the murders) armed police officers were watching us and not the service. Uniformed officers scanned the crowds for possible threats; plainclothes police mingled in the audience.

This year, that security was upped another notch. RCMP members with semiautomatic rifles clasped to their chests were at the ready. But more pointedly, heavy gravel trucks were angled crudely across the roads, denying all vehicular access to the ceremony sites.

The move should not surprise us. It comes as terrorists trade their bombs and guns for stolen vehicles as weapons of choice. We’ve seen the devastating impact of these attacks in Europe and most recently New York City. Heavy vehicles, used as weapons, smashing indiscriminately through crowds of innocent people.

It would be tempting to think that the security measures in Chilliwack were a bit of an overreaction – until we remember that just a few weeks ago a vehicle was used to run down an Edmonton police officer, as well as several pedestrians. Fortunately no one was killed in that attack, but the suspect has been charged with five counts of attempted murder.

Threat of attack is the new norm, unfortunately. It does not mean we need to live in fear, but neither can we be complacent.

Too often we take our security for granted, forgetting the tens of thousands of Canadians who have died over the past century to protect that peace.

They’re fighting still. And the security measures at last week’s Remembrance Day services show just how close the front lines have moved.

Just Posted

Enrolment, EA increases make for no surprises in updated school district budget

The budget reflects changes that were made after recieving provincial funds in December

Agassiz Community Gardens hoping to find new home at old McCaffrey school

The society has been looking for a new location since its previous gardens were sold in October

Kent looking to replace Ferny Coombe pool with indoor facility

The facility being built is dependent on grant funding from the province and federal government

Escape room brings ‘out of the box’ activity to Agassiz

AESS alumni and teacher developed the concept to bring teamwork-based entertainment to the town

Prices still rising, Chilliwack real estate back in balanced territory

Local market is steadier compared to points west with higher increase in average sale price

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Manure company causing ‘toxic’ stink at Abbotsford school seeks permit

Property across from King Traditional Elementary cannot operate manure facility without permit

Most Read