Remembrance Day

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

In all my years on this earth, for the first time I experienced the solemnity that is Remembrance Day in Montreal where we remember those who fought for our freedom, in particular for those who did not return home.

Front and center were our veterans, dwindling in numbers but ever present. All branches of the military were present and visible as were the RCMP, The Pompiers Auxiliare de Montréal, cadets, and high school students.

During the laying of wreaths, a military band fittingly played Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, a nod to the recently deceased son of Montréal. Politicians such as Marc Garneau, Melanie Joly, Martin Coiteux, Denis Coderre, and Russell Copeman laid wreaths as did many veterans’ associations, consulates, and other organizations.

These troubling days following the US election and with strife in far off places, let us never forget that the men and women who served overseas fought so that our rights such as the right to protest, the right to speak freely, the right to vote, and the right to practice our religions without fear of imprisonment be protected. That the cannons roared as the chaplains prayed gave me pause to reflect on this.

While the temperature was chilly and the wind a slight bluster at times, attending this service was the least I could do in remembrance of those who served and those who paid the ultimate price.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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