VANCOUVER -- A small ceremony in Stanley Park Wednesday marked the 100th Remembrance Day since the Japanese Canadian War Memorial was erected.

In-person attendance at the annual memorial service was by invitation only because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a livestream of the event was shown at the Vancouver Japanese Language School Hall and available online.

Among those invited to the park were descendants of some of the 222 Japanese Canadian men who volunteered to serve as soldiers in the First World War.

The monument was erected in 1920 as a tribute to the 54 who died, and it has come to represent the struggles and triumphs of the Japanese Canadian veterans who returned, as well.

In 1931, after years of lobbying for the right to vote, Japanese Canadian veterans became the first Asian Canadians to win the right to do so.

That didn't stop the Canadian government from forcing them out of their homes and into internment camps during the Second World War, however.

“The monument in Stanley Park has so much meaning to our family," said Kathy Enros, granddaughter of Cpl. Sainosuke Kubota, in a news release. "It is a reminder of their hopes and dreams when moving to Canada in search of a better life. It is a reminder of the discrimination and inequality that our relatives faced from our Country. It is a reminder of how hard my grandfather fought to ensure we all have a voice, to ensure that we will never have to face such judgment and prejudice."