Communities across Canada hold solemn Remembrance Day tributes
Canadians across the country and around the world today are reflecting on the sacrifices made in past and present conflicts.
For Julie Payette, today marked her first Remembrance Day service since becoming Governor General and Canada’s commander-in-chief.
Payette joined veterans and other dignitaries at the national ceremony, held each year at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Payette will also host a luncheon in honour of this year’s national Silver Cross Mother, Diana Abel, who lost her son, Cpl. Michael David Abel, on May 3, 1993, during Operation Deliverance, in Belet Huen, Somalia.
- You can re-watch CBC’s Remembrance Day Special with Rosemary Barton and Ian Hanomansing on YouTube
Special attention is also being paid this year to several key battles from the First and Second World Wars, including the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele, which ended on Nov. 10, 1917.
More than 4,000 Canadians were killed and 12,000 were wounded in Passchendaele, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described as a symbol of the worst horrors of the First World War.
“Our soldiers fought an impossible fight with perseverance, valour and commitment to a greater cause,” Trudeau said in a statement issued Friday.
“Nine Canadians would earn the Victoria Cross for their bravery. Yet the battle came at a devastating cost.”
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This year also marked a century since the April 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge, which saw nearly 3,600 Canadians killed and more than 7,000 wounded, and 75 years since the Dieppe Raid of the Second World War.
Several Howitzer cannons sent thunderous echoes across the capital today as members of the 30th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, fired several gun salutes as part of Remembrance Day ceremonies.
The Royal Canadian Air Force conducted three flypasts over Ottawa-area ceremonies, including two CF-18 Hornets from 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., flying above the National War Memorial.
The prime minister was not in attendance at this year’s national service. Instead, he took part in a ceremony of remembrance in Vietnam, where he was attending the APEC leaders summit. He also issued a statement.
“Every generation of Canadians has answered the call to serve. From Ypres to Dieppe to Korea to Afghanistan, our servicemen and women have shown courage as a matter of course, and stood resilient in the face of great adversity,” Trudeau said in the written statement.