Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

From Wikipedia:

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a public holiday, as well as being a statutory holiday everywhere except Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories.[5] The official national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, presided over by the Governor General of Canada, any members of the Canadian Royal Family (such as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in 2009),[6] the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries, to the observance of the public. Typically, these events begin with the tolling of the Carillon in the Peace Tower, during which serving members of the Canadian Forces (CF) arrive at Confederation Square, followed by the Ottawa diplomatic corps, Ministers of the Crown, special guests, the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), the viceregal party, and, if present, the royal party. Before the start of the ceremony, four armed sentries and three sentinels – two flag sentinels and one nursing sister – are posted at the foot of the cenotaph.
The arrival of the Queen or Governor General is announced by a trumpeter sounding the "Alert", whereupon the monarch or viceroy is met by the Dominion President of the RCL and escorted to a dais to receive the Royal or Viceregal Salute, after which the national anthem, "O Canada," is played. The moment of remembrance begins with the bugling of "Last Post" immediately before 11:00 am, at which time the gun salute fires and the bells of the Peace Tower toll the hour. Another gun salute signals the end of the two minutes of silence, and cues the playing of a lament, and then the bugling of "The Rouse". A flypast of Canadian Air Command craft then occurs at the start of a 21 gun salute, upon the completion of which a choir sings "In Flanders Fields". The various parties then lay their wreaths at the base of the memorial; one wreath is set by the Silver Cross Mother, a recent recipient of the Memorial Cross, on behalf of all mothers who lost children in any of Canada's armed conflicts. The royal and/or viceregal group return to the dais to receive the playing of the Royal Anthem of Canada, "God Save the Queen", prior to the assembled Armed Forces personnel and veterans performing a march past in front of the royal and/or viceregal persons, bringing about the end of the official ceremonies.[7] A tradition of paying more personal tribute to the sacrifice of those who have served and lost their lives in defence of the country has emerged since erection of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the War Memorial in 2000: after the official ceremony the general public place their poppies atop the tomb.

Similar ceremonies take place in provincial capitals across the country, officiated by the relevant Lieutenant Governor, as well as in other cities, towns, and even hotels or corporate headquarters. Schools will usually hold special assemblies for the first half of the day, or on the school day prior, with various presentations concerning the remembrance of the war dead. The largest indoor ceremony in Canada is currently held in Montreal, Quebec,[8] followed in size by that held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with over 8,500 gathering in Credit Union Centre in 2008;[9] the ceremony participants include old guard (veterans), new guard (currently serving members of the CF), and sea, army, and air cadet units.

Around here, my kids are attending ceremonies at school with veterans and/or active military attending their school assemblies. This is Cole's middle school service day and he will be, with nine other classmates, attending one of the many area nursing homes, this particular one has a number of vets and I think it should be a good experience from him. They arrived at 10AM and don't return to school until 4PM. I'm looking forward to the stories he brings home.


Maria Ontiveros said...

Beautiful post. I especially love your poppy picture. I posted a tribute to my WWII veteran father today.

Irene said...

A few people have posted this article today.We remember on Remembrance Day,which is the Sunday before as this is not a public holiday in the UK.

Kyla said...

Wonderful post Lee! I bet Cole will have lots of interesting stories to tell when he gets home.