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

Santa joins kids for Christmas in the Forest in Chilliwack

Annual holiday party and fundraiser helps students at Leap For Joy Open Air Learning

Mike McCardell in town for book-signing at Coles in Chilliwack

His newest book, Shoelaces Are Hard: And Other Thoughtful Scribbles, is his 12th to date

Photos: The Contenders rock the Blue Moose Coffee Shop Friday

Valdy and Gary Fjellgaard came together as (The) Contenders to play music… Continue reading

Birds from Raptors Ridge pay a visit to Chilliwack

Up-close viewings, nature walks, and youth owl classes all part of visits this month to Chilliwack

Ask the Coach: Chilliwack Chiefs bench boss Brian Maloney talks about referees

Ask the Coach is a bi-weekly column where Brian Maloney answers questions from the fans

VIDEO: Highway overpass protest against United Nations ‘compact’ on immigration

Demonstrators say Canada will have less control over who is allowed in the country

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read