Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Remembering Our Soldiers November 11th, 2007

It was an chilly and overcast day in Waterloo this day, although our hearts were warm. In the background, one could hear drums and the sound of soldiers' boots hitting the pavement as they marched in unison.
Waterloo photos by: Military Mom
Some soldiers dressed in green fatigues and others dressed sharply in their dress uniforms (many with glistening ISAF medals adorned on their chests - Canada's own Veterans - returned from their rotation in Afghanistan) - boots highly polished marched towards Waterloo's cenotaph.

Amidst the group were Waterloo Region Police Officers, RCMP officers, Cadets.. and yes .. our Veterans from Canada's other wars and peacekeeping missions -a walking history - some arrived with the assistance of canes, walkers or scooters. The crowd, proud of our troops past and present, applauding them with tears as they passed. The sun broke through the skies above the auburn leaves in the trees as the Waterloo Cenotaph service began with an invocation by Padre Bernie Hayes. Such an eloquent speaker easily touching our hearts. Prayers were said for our Veterans, our soldiers and families. This was followed by the Waterloo regional police band playing O Canada and the playing of the Last Lament by Adam Annandale. Sniffles and tears were easily had as each reflected on this day. Some were parents of soldiers currently serving overseas. This is a very emotional day for these parents as well as parents of our fallen soldiers. My heart goes out to them.

100 wreaths were laid this day in honour of our soldiers. The wreath for "Soldiers in Afghanistan" was laid by Cpl. Sugrim and Cpl. Hunt. (Both returning Vets from Afghanistan. It's a true honour to know these gentlemen.)

Many, many people - soldiers, firefighters, cadets, Veterans participated during this Remembrance Ceremony. Truly amazing seeing the diversity of those we honour this day and always. Many veterans, wearing uniforms and service medals, watched from the comfort of the rail car as prayers were said, a two-minute silence observed and 100 wreaths honouring Canada's war dead were laid at the cenotaph. Other veterans stood with the crowd or sat on their scooters. Many chatted with children about their war experiences. Waterloo's was one of several Remembrance Day services in the region. Services were held at cenotaphs in Kitchener, Preston, Hespeler and Galt.
A Veteran is seen saluting as serving and returning soldiers and are seen in the background.

At the end of the services, soldiers "fall out" and march towards and along King Street in Waterloo accompanied by applause of appreciation of many people attending the Remembrance Day Ceremony in Waterloo.

Lest we forget... yes lest we forget.

Seen here (front centre) is Cpl Lock of 31 Combat Engineer Regiment (The Elgins) - a returning Veteran having served in Afghanistan.

Following the parade, soldiers met with fellow comrades - veterans, young and old - a chance to catch up with each other or a chance to live history through their eyes.
To our soldiers, I say: "Thank You. You shall always be remembered."

In Waterloo, Krebs (Ali Baba) Steakhouse served free steak to the Veterans. Thank you to the Staff at Krebs for honouring our soldiers.

In CAMBRIDGE, more than 1,000 people ringed Queen's Square for Remembrance Day services at the Galt cenotaph. It was easily the largest turnout for the service in recent years.
The throng was up to five people deep around the 300 participants in the ceremonies, including the Royal Highland Fusiliers militia unit.
Photo by: Richard Lock
Wreath of "Soldiers in Afghanistan" being laid by parents of returned Afghan Veteran.

Photo by: John Prno

Photo by: Richard Lock

The Preston Legion donated this wreath for Soldiers in Afghanistan saying: "there will be a wreath for them until they all come home".

Photo by: Richard Lock

Grey clouds gave way to warm sunshine as the crowd offered sustained applause to soldiers, three bands and Galt legion members as they marched across the Main Street bridge to end the service.

Photo by: John Prno

Then dozens of people stepped forward into Queen's Square for a closer look at a new memorial installed this year. It's intended to honour soldiers from Cambridge who died on peacekeeping duties since 1954, or in the Vietnam War.

Photo seen here placed in Ottawa of Graham Private Mark Anthony Graham, a member of 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, based in Petawawa, Ontario. He died Monday September 4th, 2006 in a friendly fire incident. (Our prayers are with all the families of our Fallen Soldiers)
Clockwise from top left: Silver Cross Mother Claire Léger (second left) is flanked by husband Richard and Governor General Michaëlle Jean; poppies are placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; two veterans remember in silence.

On a disappointing note, I had read a poll on Friday in The Record (newspaper website) that recorded 60 per cent of respondents saying they would not observe the day.
As Herbert V. Prochnow said: "A great many people mistake opinions for thoughts."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi military mom--thank you for the wonderful pictures.
It is nice to see so many pay respects to our veterans.

(soldier/veteran's wife)