So another Remembrance Day is almost finished. Remembrance Day this year was quite different, we were encouraged to stay home and watch the ceremonies online or on TV. It wasn’t the same but we have to do things differently during the pandemic.
People are encouraged to buy and wear Poppys as a sign to honour the fallen. The poem In Flanders Fields is so touching, it was written by Capt McCrae, a Canadian, in WWI. History of the Poppy can be read here.
Normally, where I live, we do a Candlelight Ceremony the evening of the 10th November. I don’t know how widespread this tradition is but we do it in our city and surrounding areas. People buy a small red candle in honour of a loved one/ones and you can write a name and/or message on a label on the candle. Then they are placed around the cenotaph, just across from the Royal Canadian Legion, (Trenton Ontario) followed that evening by a ceremony, which many people attend.
Of course the next day, 11th November, there is a larger ceremony with prayers, wreath laying and all the rest. They always have a Piper and I love the bagpipes, always so lovely to hear them. There is a huge crowd this day and after the ceremony, we finish up by going into the Legion enjoying a lunch while visiting and reminiscing.
This year, as I mentioned, is different. I watched our city’s ceremonies on my computer but it was still heartfelt and poignant. The two photos below are of today’s ceremonies and you can see the candles and wreaths laying around the cenotaph. Now I took these two photos from my computer screen byusing my phone, so they are not the best. But you get the idea.
Below is an older photo showing the candles lit up at night around the Cenotaph.
The Legion also sells Memorial Banners. I bought one for my Dad and they have a photo, name and other information pertinent to that individual. These are displayed in the Legion and then before Remembrance Day they are hung up in our downtown and left for a couple of weeks. It’s quite a moving sight and I love this idea.
Remembrance Day should be every day, take a few moments and remember the sacrifices that so many made.
I have some international followers, I would be interested and curious to hear how other countries remember and honour their veterans.
Stay safe everyone.