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Calgarians gather for Remembrance Day ceremonies to mark 100 years since First World War armistice
Calgarians were among the thousands of Canadians who attended Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country to pay tribute to members of Canada’s military and mark 100 years since the signing of the armistice to end the First World War.
A number of services and ceremonies took place in the city on Sunday to honour those who have served and those who continue to service in Canada’s military.
A large service was held at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and Mayor Nenshi and a number of dignitaries were among those in attendance.
“We, every November 11th, gather. We honour the women and men of our Canadian armed forces, though this is not a veterans day, it is a remembrance day, it is a day for us to remember those who have fallen, those who have been taken from us, those who never came home,” said Nenshi.
At The Military Museums, MP Kent Hehr and Brigadier-General Nic Stanton addressed the crowd and the King’s Own Calgary Regiment Band and Savridi Singers performed for the public.
“The world that we have is very much thanks to the sacrifices that were made a hundred years ago during the lead up to the armistice and it’s great to see that people recognize the importance of that, with the massive numbers that come out to assemblies for that,” said Rory Cory, Senior Curator The Military Museums. “As the First World War moves progressively out of memory, it’s harder and harder for people to engage with that history but I’m glad that people still find it relevant.”
“We should be remembering those that we left behind and remembering the sacrifices that were necessary for the peace that we have today,” said Fred Downing.
“This is a really good turnout, it’s pretty unbelievable and just makes you proud to be in the uniform,” said Sgt. Genge.
Over 300 soldiers and sailors from 41 CBG units marched in the Canadian Brigade Group Remembrance Day Parade downtown.
A minute gun was fired to mark the two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m. MST and a 21-gun salute followed.
“It’s sad that people had to die to protect our country but also happy that I can live free because of their sacrifice for us,” said Molly Van Maanen.
“Today marks the 100th anniversary of the very last day of the First World War. It began in 1914 and it ended at 11 o’clock in the morning on the 11th of November 1918. So it’s a very special event for us and that’s why we put on this special, sort of, once in a lifetime parade for us,” said Lieutenant-colonel Mike Vernon.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders were in Paris to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War and to talk about how to prevent such a terrible conflict from erupting again.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Gov.-Gen. Julie Payett, Sophie Trudeau and thousands of Canadians gathered at the National War Memorial to remember and honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
"On the centenary of the signing of the armistice, we honour those whose names we know -- and those whose names are known to God alone," said Maj.-Gen. Guy Chapdelaine, the military's most senior chaplain.
A 21-gun salute broke the silence at 11:00 a.m. EST and five CF-18 Hornet aircraft from Cold Lake, Alberta did a flyover above the crowd in a ‘missing man’ formation.
For complete coverage of Remembrance Day ceremonies across the country, click HERE.