On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour….
All across the country and around the world, people are paying tribute to the noble men and women who fought for our freedoms and sacrificed to serve their country and fellow countryman. In Ottawa, thousands gathered in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, built in 1939 to commemorate the soldiers from the First World War, now recognizes all veterans. It is symbolic of more than 25,000 Canadian service men and women who have no grave.
It was a sombre event – a time of reflection. There are no longer any First World War Veterans in Canada and the numbers of Second World War veterans are on the decline. People of all ages came to pay tribute to those who have gone before us. It was a moving event as veterans and pipers marched to the monument. A minute of silence, as it the tradition, took place moments after the poignant notes of the Last Post drifted over the crowds, the silence broken by the shot from the a howitzer artillery gun.
Representatives from a number of groups lay wreaths in front of the cenotaph. Poppies were laid in a sign of respect for those who have served our nation and messages from school children were left – a message that we have not forgotten.
“The scale of sacrifices that men and women from across this country have made and continue to make around the world on our behalf and to stand for what’s right is a reminder to us all that we must not take this extraordinary country we live in for granted and that we must strive to be worthy of it every day.” –Justin Trudeau
I could not have said it better than Justin Trudeau – it is a day of remembrance. While I am saddened by the loss of life, I give thanks for the protection and freedoms that they have fought for.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
- John McCrae
Lest we forget….