This past weekend I travelled to Montreal to see my family who were visiting the city for the weekend. At the end of my 2-hour train ride, the stewardess came around with a platter of poppies and gave each passenger one before the train trip ended.
As I pinned my poppy onto my jacket I realized how important it was to show our appreciation and honor to those who fought for our safety and freedom, as well as those still fighting today. With the recent events in Ottawa, it has definitely been on my mind more than usual.
If you want to show your appreciation, I have created a list of ceremonies and events occurring on Remembrance Day this Tuesday that you can attend if you choose to.
1. National Ceremony of Remembrance
Every year Ottawa hosts the National Ceremony of Remembrance. It is located at the National War Memorial on Elgin & Wellington. The ceremony will begin at 10:55am and there are usually tens of thousands of people, so make sure to arrive early if you want to be able to see the memorial. The Prime Minister, Governor General and the Silver Cross Mother will be attending, along with other dignitaries and veterans.
2. Westboro Remembrance Day Ceremony Commemoration
From 2-7pm at 391 Richmond Road there will be a parade as well as a wreath-laying ceremony. Many veterans, dignitaries and legion members will be attending and the ceremony will be significantly smaller, but just as important, as the one at the National War Memorial.
3. National Military Cemetery
At the Beechwood Cemetery at 10:30am you can take part in a ceremony for those who have fallen in service for our country. There will be a marching, a band and a choir performance. It will conclude at 12pm.
4. Canadian War Museum
At 11am at the Canadian War Museum, the Memorial Hall will be lit by a beam of sunlight that will perfectly frame the grave of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. Tickets are required on a first-come, first-served basis at 9:30am. The admission to the museum will be however. If you are a student, you can attend the Remembrance Day wreath ceremony at the National War Museum that I mentioned above, and then take part in a specialized tour of the War Museum. You will be able to talk to veterans and I believe it is a great opportunity to learn about the importance of Remembrance day, and to gain some perspective that you cannot achieve from the pages of a textbook.
I hope that this list helped those who were unsure on where to go on Remembrance Day this year. It is important to give thanks to those who have sacrificed so much for us, and I hope everyone takes part in something this year, even if it is just wearing a poppy in remembrance.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
– Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae