Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Remembrance Day 2014, Kamloops, BC

November 11th is called Remembrance Day in Canada and has been recognized since WW1.  It was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth.  Originally called Armistice Day, as it was to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended WW1, it was celebrated on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.   It is observed around the world on this day but most countries still call it Armistice Day.   The Americans celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

Kamloops Cenotaph
We stopped by the Kamloops Cenotaph and poppies decorated the monument and some wreaths were left.  Cenotaph is a Greek word for “empty tomb” and laying of wreaths is a traditional means of signalling high honours in Greece, so the Remembrance Day follows with that tradition.

Large crowd gathers at Riverside Park
As in most cities across the country, people gathered, at Riverside Park in Kamloops, BC, to honour the veterans who fought in the wars of yesterday as well as those who still do today.   2014 proved to be a special occasion by the numbers of people who came to watch the ceremony today.

RCMP lead the way, Veterans follow the flags
The parade made its’ way into the center of the crowd by way of a temporary corridor set up and everyone in the crowd applauded as they passed by.  The RCMP in their red serge march by to much applause and they are followed by more uniforms, the Rube Band, the Pipe Band, and last but not least were several veterans to end the march.

Remembrance Day in Riverside Park
Uniforms joining those who had passed by our spot could be seen in the crowded field to honour fallen soldiers including the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Cadets.  Our national anthem was sung then the Last Post was played on the bugle, a familiar yet rather sombre sound.  This was followed with a two minute silence.

Fly over at 11:04am
 The Fly Past was done by two from the 419 Squadron out of Cold Lake, Alberta then followed by “Reveille”, also played on the bugle.  Prayers and blessings were given then followed by placement of wreaths by various representatives of the government plus many others.  Everyone is welcome to add their own wreath at this time.

Remembrance Day in Kamloops, BC
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Sombre moments during Remembrance Day
We are the dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Kamloops Pipe Band
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
IF ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields is a poem written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae with a powerful message.

There is more Remembrance Day from past years, click here to see one and here if you'd like to learn more about the 419 Squadron.