11/11 - Stopping to Remember

Today is Remembrance Day - a day when we're supposed to stop and remember those who served and continue to serve in the armed forces. I have always wanted to go and watch a Remembrance Day ceremony, and today was the day I finally stopped everything else I was doing to actually go. Toronto hosts several ceremonies, the largest one would be at Queens Park, the Provincial Legislature. Canada has lost a lot of soldiers in Afghanistan, and being able to attend a Remembrance Day while Canada is involved in active armed conflict has more meaning then ever.

It was a moving event, especially seeing 2 of the few remaining WW1 veterans still alive - bused in for the event from Sunnybrook Hospital where there is a dedicated Veterans retirement and care facility.

The canon salute, was incredibly loud, and shook you to the core. I can't imagine what it must have felt like in the middle of battle to hear and feel those shock waves over your body. Just standing 20 meters from one was incredibly loud and awe inspiring. The smell of gun powder, it's overwhelming.

I took some photos of the day. I'm glad I finally got to see one of these ceremonies. My father was an officer in the Army. Although he didn't see any 'action', he certainly saw his share of evil during the days of military rule in Uruguay in the 70's.

Next year I will attend the largest of these events in Canada - at the Ottawa War Memorial.


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