With silence and salutes, Canadians mark Remembrance Day

OTTAWA — Eleven tolls from the Peace Tower filled the air around Parliament Hill on Monday morning, marking the start of two minutes of silence in which Canadians paused to remember and honour those who took up arms — and in some cases paid the ultimate price — to defend this country and its way of life.

Similar scenes played out across the country at cenotaphs and memorials as the clock struck the 11th hour on Remembrance Day.

A crowd of thousands lined the wind-swept streets around the National War Memorial in Ottawa for the national ceremony. They arrived early, standing and watching a parade of veterans arrayed before the monument unveiled 80 years ago by King George VI.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gov. Gen. Julie Payette were among those laying wreaths in memory of those who died serving Canada.

“They fought for the ideals of peace and to defend our liberties,” Payette said in a video message.

“Many were wounded in their body and in their soul. Too many paid the ultimate price. We owe them an immense debt of gratitude. We must never forget their sacrifice and the terrible costs of war. Let us never take freedom for granted and stand up for equality and tolerance.”

Trudeau echoed those sentiments in a separate statement as he credited those who served in uniform with having built peace, defended democracy and enabled countless people to live in freedom in Canada and around the world.

“Today, we pay tribute to our veterans, to those who have been injured in the line of duty, and to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “They stood for liberty, and sacrificed their future for the future of others. Their selflessness and courage continue to inspire Canadians who serve today.”

Also present for the morning’s national ceremony was this year’s Silver Cross Mother, Reine Samson Dawe from near Kingston, Ont. Her youngest son, Capt. Matthew Dawe, was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 alongside five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter.

She was to lay a wreath during the ceremony on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost children to war.

As the official ceremony came to a close, Payette, Trudeau and Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay shook hands with veterans, some of whom had red blankets draped over their laps and legs to stay warm in the biting cold.

The leaders thanked the veterans for their service, echoing a message from the ceremony in which veterans young and old were called “authentic heroes,” deserving to be celebrated and thanked at every opportunity.

“We are grateful to them for being the unifying inspiration of selflessness and dedication, reminding us of what being Canadian is all about,” Rabbi Reuven Bulka said during the ceremony.

This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony followed a major event in France earlier this year marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when thousands of Canadian stormed the beaches of Normandy with their British and American allies to fight Nazi Germany.

It also comes exactly 101 years after the end of the First World War.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

TYENDINAGA, Ont. — Hours of talks between the federal government and representatives… Continue reading

Red Deer County investing in fibre optics

County investing $7 million over two years to improve Internet connections

Red Deer artillery regiment celebrating 100 years

Members of regiment to participate in gun salute at Edinburgh Castle in June

Ponoka RCMP looking for Red Deer suspect facing numerous fraud and theft charges

Police allege Jeffrey Little skipped out on last court appearance

RCMP arrest and charge two suspects in Wetaskiwin carjacking

Maskwacis man and Wetaskiwin woman facing numerous charges

Fashion Fridays: Apple body types: What you need to know

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 6 A Perogie Supper is being held Thursday, Feb. 6 from… Continue reading

Red Deer Optimist Chiefs advance to Midget AAA playoffs Tuesday

The Red Deer Optimist Chiefs picked up a victory to finish the… Continue reading

Former Blue Jays shortstop Tony Fernandez, a five-time all-star, dies at 57

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Buck Martinez remembers referring to Tony Fernandez as “the… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels rally in third period to overcome Rockets

Final game of B.C. road trip Monday in Prince George

Vlhova wins slalom to overtake absent Shiffrin in standings

KRANJSKA GORA, Slovenia — Petra Vlhova won her third straight women’s World… Continue reading

Bansky’s Valentine’s Day mural covered after it was defaced

LONDON — The family who owns a house in southwest England where… Continue reading

Emission-cutting targets a trend with benefits for oilsands firms, observers say

CALGARY — In one of his last interactions with reporters before retiring… Continue reading

Red flood warning issued for Wales as storm rips across UK

LONDON — Storm Dennis roared across Britain with high winds and heavy… Continue reading

Most Read