75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War marks ceremony at National War Memorial
OTTAWA, November 11, 2020 – Respect, thankfulness and Remembrance permeated the air during Canada’s National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. The solemn commemoration paid tribute to the men and women who have given their lives for our freedoms.
On an unusually warm Remembrance Day and amidst pandemic restrictions that allowed a maximum of 100 participants, guests paid tribute through words, prayer, music, and a 21-gun salute. The annual ceremony organized by The Royal Canadian Legion also marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Planned fly-pasts of CF-18 jets and vintage Second World War aircraft could not take place due to low cloud cover.
At 11:00 am, as the nation paused to remember and honour those who have given their lives to military service, many Canadians watched from home or online or took part in much smaller ceremonies in other parts of the country.
“The pandemic may have changed how we commemorate this year, but we will never forget our Fallen, no matter the circumstances,” says Legion Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine. “Our freedoms came at a great cost, and this year we also remember the tragedy and triumph of the Second World War as Canadians joined our allies to bring an end to that devastating time. We will remember them all.”
Mrs. Deborah Sullivan, this year’s National Silver Cross Mother, laid a wreath on behalf of all military mothers who have lost children in service to their country. Her own son, Lieutenant Navy Christopher Edward Saunders, died after a tragic fire on board HMCS Chicoutimi in 2004.
Members of the Vice-Regal Party paid special tribute by each laying wreaths at the National War Memorial. They included Canada’s Governor-General Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette; Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau; the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay; Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance; and the Speaker of the House, the Honourable Anthony Rota. On behalf of the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Ambassador of Honduras, Her Excellency Sofia Serrato also laid a wreath, as did representatives of Veteran organizations.
While Canadians heeded the instructions not to attend the national ceremony due to the pandemic restrictions, smaller groups and individuals did stop by, later placing poppies on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier - which has become a poignant tradition.
More than 117,000 animated poppies – each representing one of Canada’s Fallen – will continue to cascade on the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill, and the Poppy Drop will appear on the Senate building and the National Arts Centre’s glass tower for a final evening, from 6:30 to midnight ET, tonight.
About The Royal Canadian Legion
Founded in 1925, the Legion is Canada’s largest Veteran support and community service organization. We are a non-profit organization with a national reach across Canada as well as branches in the U.S., Europe and Mexico. With close to 260,000 members, many of whom volunteer an extraordinary amount of time to their branches, our strength is in our numbers.
Public Relations / Media Inquiries: PublicRelations@Legion.ca; 343-540-7604/ Nujma Bond