Canadians gathered under a grey sky in Ottawa Wednesday to mark Remembrance Day, in a solemn service honouring the country’s veterans and fallen soldiers.
Thousands attended the ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, expected to be the largest service in the country. Smaller ceremonies were held across the country, as well as in the U.K. and in France.
Veterans of all different generations attended the Ottawa ceremony, from those who fought in the Second World War to more recent veterans who served in Afghanistan.
During the ceremony, attendees marked two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m., as per tradition. There was also the traditional playing of The Last Post, followed by The Rouse, as jets flew overhead in a flyover.
Brig.-Gen. Guy Chapdelaine, the chaplain general of the Canadian Forces, led a prayer for the Canadian soldiers who died while fighting for the country.
“We offer our heartfelt thanks and we refuse to let their names fall silent,” he said. “We remember them.”
Following the prayer, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, laid a wreath at the foot of the War Memorial, as a children’s choir sang “In Flanders Fields.”
Silver Cross Mother Sheila Anderson was in the audience, representing all parents who’ve lost a child in uniform. Also in attendance was Gov. Gen. David Johnston, the chief of defence staff, Minister of Veterans Affairs Kent Hehr, and Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan.
Johnston said the day is not only a day to recognize the sacrifices that veterans have made for our country, but to remember the values that motivate them to fight.
“I think it helps us to re-affirm the sense of service that our men and women in uniform have, that our country, such a good country, can continue to seek justice and peace and fairness, not only in our own land, but throughout the world,” he told CTV News Channel Wednesday morning.
Johnston said in a statement that it’s important for Canadians to reflect and learn about past conflicts, in order to have future peace.
“By remembering and understanding our history, we can help bring about a more fair and just world,” he said.
Two young children, who were at the memorial, told CTV News that they travelled with their family from Toronto just for the ceremony.
“I’m really happy and proud of everybody, because the soldiers risked their lives to keep us alive,” the girl said. “That’s why we’re here today.”
Source (with live blog): CTV News