OTTAWA, ON, 11 NOVEMBER 2023 – Tens of thousands of participants gathered at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony this year. The Royal Canadian Legion hosted the solemn yet striking event at the National War Memorial in Ottawa; in honour of all those who have given their lives in service to Canada.
The arrival of the Veterans Parade captured everyone’s attention, along with the marching contingents, and 21-gun salute. An expected fly-past of four CF-18 Hornet aircraft could not take place due to weather conditions. The ceremony also paid respects to the 130 Canadian Armed Forces members who have died in the line of peacekeeping duty. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The Act of Remembrance was read in English, French and the Indigenous language of Ojibwe this year.
“We will never forget the members of our armed forces from all backgrounds who have given their lives to protect our freedoms,” said Dominion President Bruce Julian. “Remembrance Day is when we share our collective gratitude, but in reality, we feel it every day of the year.”
Mrs. Gloria Hooper, this year’s National Silver Cross Mother laid a wreath on behalf of all military mothers who have lost children in service to their country. Her son, Sapper Chris Holopina died in 1996 when the armoured vehicle he was in, rolled over trying to avoid an accident while on the way to rescue allied soldiers. He was performing peacekeeping duties in Bosnia at the time of his passing.
Other special guests who laid wreaths at the base of the National War Memorial, included Canada’s Governor-General Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon; Canada’s Prime Minister the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, the Minister of Veterans Affairs the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the Speaker of the Senate the Honourable Raymonde Gagné, and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre. Legion Dominion President Mr. Bruce Julian laid a wreath along with representatives of the youth of Canada - winners of the Legion National Foundation’s senior poster and literary contest. Representatives of many Veteran groups, additional organizations and individuals paid tribute in this same way.
Many people took a moment to place their Poppies on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier after the official ceremony, in what has become a memorable act and sight.
This year, Canadians also saw thousands of digital signs go black at 11:00 am, followed by a message of “Lest We Forget.” It was part of a two-minute tribute to fallen veterans by supportive advertisers across Canada, and an effort to show that you can take two minutes to remember, wherever you may be. This was the first year for the Legion-led initiative.
On Remembrance Day evening, many thousands of animated Poppies – each representing one of Canada’s Fallen – will once again cascade down the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill and on the Senate building at the National Arts Centre for a final time, until midnight.
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., and Europe. With close to 250,000 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/ 343-540-7604