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CanadaCanadians pay respect to martyrs at sombre Remembrance

Canadians pay respect to martyrs at sombre Remembrance

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Ottawa, November 13: Canadians are paying respects to the country’s war dead at sombre Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country Friday.

Thousands of people wearing poppies stood in silence as cannons boomed and military aircraft flew past the National War Memorial in Ottawa when the clock on the Peace Tower struck 11 a.m.

Navy Capt. Bonita Mason said a prayer during the ceremony, and noted the ongoing war in Ukraine and the importance of military families while calling on Canadians to set aside their divisions and embrace reconciliation and dialogue.

In a world fraught with struggle and instability, where war continues to rage in Ukraine, we gather to affirm with one another our determination to remove the barriers of division in a spirit of reconciliation,” Mason said.

“We seek dialogue with one another in all spheres: social, political and religious. That in doing so, we may achieve a lasting peace. May we all strive to continue our efforts to build a better world.”

Among those in attendance were Gov. Gen. Mary Simon, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay, and chief of the defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was absent from the Ottawa ceremony as he travels to an international summit in Cambodia. His wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and their oldest son Xavier did attend.

Before the start of the ceremony, dozens of veterans of different ages and backgrounds marched through the streets of Ottawa alongside serving Armed Forces members to drums and pipes.

At the National War Memorial, a flag that was reportedly carried by a Canadian soldier into battle at Dieppe, France, in August 1942 was displayed, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the raid. A wreath was also laid for Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September.

Similar scenes are playing out at cenotaphs and war memorials across the rest of the country amid a semblance of normalcy following two years of COVID-19 restrictions that included masks and scaled-down parades.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of Halifax City Hall on a warm and sunny day to honour Canada’s war dead as members of the Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force stood at attention to the mournful sounds of the Last Post.

Gun salutes boomed at 11 a.m. in Fredericton, N.B., as babies in strollers, dogs on leashes and children holding parents’ hands watched the ceremony under partly sunny skies. A few children giggled and held their parents’ hands tighter when the first gun salute went off.

Outside the cenotaph at Old City Hall in Toronto, Alistair Stark, 73, stood in uniform for the city’s ceremony.

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