Commemoration of Armistice 100 adds poignancy at National War Memorial
OTTAWA, November 11, 2018 – Canadians paid their respects to Canada’s Fallen in communities across the country today and at the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony organized by the Royal Canadian Legion at the National War Memorial. An estimated 35,000 people were present on the chilly Ottawa morning to take part.
As the nation paused to remember and thank those who have given their lives in the military service to their country, the Legion incorporated many sounds and sights to pay special homage to First World War soldiers and the 100-year-old Armistice that ended that conflict.
Re-enactors dressed in period uniforms guided guests to their areas and presented every veteran and caregiver with an Armistice 100 pin. The Dominion Carillonneur selected and played music with First World War connections, and the Ottawa Children’s Choir and the Canadian Armed Forces Central band performed a new arrangement of In Flanders Fields.
Dignitaries laid wreaths inspired by the First World War and the Armistice. Ms. Anita Cenerini, this year’s National Silver Cross Mother, laid her wreath on behalf of all military mothers who have lost children in service to their country.
“We hope our recognition of this brave mother who lost her son, Private Thomas Welch, by suicide attributed to his military service, moves us closer to our goal to encourage and assist more veterans, soldiers and their families to reach out for help when they need it,” said Dominion Command President Thomas D. Irvine, CD. “We remember them, and all our brave fallen comrades on this special day.”
The Vice-Regal Party, including Canada’s Governor-General Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette; Canada’s Minister of Defence, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan; and on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada, The Honourable Karen McCrimmon, MP for Kanata-Carlton, paid tribute with wreaths resembling those used in 1919 commemorations. General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff; Senator Peter Harder on behalf of the Senate of Canada; and wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mrs. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, also joined the Vice-Regal Party to pay respects in person.
As part of the ceremony, two traditional elements – the Virtual Wall of Honour and Remembrance that displays thousands of pictures of the Fallen, and two minutes of communal silence – encouraged Canadians to reflect on the peace we enjoy today and to thank the men and women whose service and sacrifice made it possible.
Throughout the day, more than 117,000 animated poppies – each representing one of Canada’s fallen – continued to cascade on the Peace Tower and Centre Block. Across the street on this special day, the virtual Poppy Drop also graced the National Arts Centre’s glass tower.
Many of those unable attend the ceremony in person joined through the Legion’s third annual live Facebook feed. Many also attended services organized by their hometown branches.
Since the 2018 Poppy Campaign began on October 26, the third annual virtual Poppy Drop has attracted thousands to the spectacle on Parliament Hill, and thousands of people have viewed or commented on the launch video. In 2018, thousands of Canadians also embraced the opportunity to donate online to receive a digital poppy to honour a veteran of their choosing.
On the evening of the 11th, many communities across Canada joined in the Legion’s Bells of Peace initiative in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada. They rang bells in places of worship, community centres and military locations in recognition of Armistice 100 and the sacrifices made that lead to peace in 1918. To view or submit visual reflections of this event throughout the evening, please visit: http://legion.ca/remembrance/promoting-remembrance/bells-of-peace/share-your-photos
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With close to 270,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca