War and peace are again dominating headlines, not only because of current raging conflicts but with Remembrance Day coming up this week.
On Salt Spring Island the Nov. 11 ceremony will return to its tradition of beginning with a parade, but due to construction activity that began in Centennial Park on Nov. 7, the ceremony will be taking place on the road adjacent to the park and the parade will be shorter than first planned.
An added event this year is an open house at Ganges Community Cemetery at Central, where the Pathfinders group of Girl Guides have again marked veterans’ grave through the No Stone Left Alone initiative.
Organizers of another event this weekend hope to raise awareness of the horrors of war through the beauty of music and the gathering of community. Bach on the Rock Chamber Choir and Orchestra presents Remembrance 2023, featuring Ralph Vaughan Williams’ epic and poignant Dona Nobis Pacem (Give Us Peace), which he composed in response to his World War I experiences. Concerts are on the evening of Nov. 11 and the afternoon of Nov. 12 at ArtSpring, with singalongs of World War I and II-era songs taking place half an hour before the concerts begin.
People wanting to contribute to peace efforts in Gaza will have an opportunity to do so through a fundraiser and educational, healing event that has been organized for next Saturday, Nov. 18 at Beaver Point Hall. Spearheaded by the Arab-Jewish Coalition for Peace in the Middle East (AJCPME), it will include live music, a silent auction, Arabic feast and a facilitated conversation.
Omrane Hassan, a director and events coordinator for AJCPME, says it best in our Viewpoint piece this week: “To provide relief to Gaza, we need more than money; we need to come together and address the conditions that have created this catastrophe and do whatever we can, wherever we are to create a different world. One where every life is held as precious, Arab and Jewish, and no single living being is sacrificed for the preservation of an unjust system of power.”
From attending the Nov. 18 Salt Spring for Gaza event to buying and wearing a poppy, or attending the Nov. 11 ceremony or the Bach on the Rock concerts, everyone can make some contribution towards peace and remembrance this week.