Canadians will gather at cenotaphs and monuments across the country this morning 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.
Thousands have begun to arrive at the National War Memorial in Ottawa for the national Remembrance Day ceremony, including a parade of veterans arrayed before the monument just off Parliament Hill, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau and Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will be 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.
Today, as we observe the moment of silence, let us remember every Canadian Armed Forces member who keeps our country safe. Without them, we could not enjoy the freedom we have today. Let us never forget those who did not come home. Their sacrifice was not in vain. #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/xAuPEazk8M— Harjit Sajjan (@HarjitSajjan) November 11, 2019
Also present for this morning’s national ceremony will be this year’s Silver Cross Mother, Reine Samson Dawe, whose youngest son, Capt. Matthew Dawe, was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 alongside five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter.
Samson Dawe will lay a wreath on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost children to war.
This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony follows a major ceremony 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 to the day after the end of the First World War.
The Canadian Press