The 93rd Annual Remembrance Day Memorial Service took place at the Gore Park Cenotaph in honour of soldiers past and present.
The ceremony started at 10:45 a.m. with a Parade of Attention welcome by John Clarke, Chairman of the Hamilton Veterans Committee.
Mayor Bob Bratina then took to the podium to welcome everyone. In his address, he said that Remembrance Day is “more than just about World War Two,” it’s about everyone who has served or is serving our country.
“I know over 285 names from one unit and I’ve never forgot them,” said Ron Cosby, a Vietnam war veteran who says many Canadians fought in Vietnam. “A lot of people don’t realize [that Canadians served in Vietnam]… I served with the 101st Airborne Division.”
“I’ve lost friends and had buddies messed up in Afghanistan,” said Corporal Steve Wright, who is still serving with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. He said he’s attending to remember everyone who courageously fought for us.
After Mayor Bratina’s words, “O Canada” officially opened the ceremony. Played by the Dundas Concert Band, it was boisterously sung – echoing off the downtown buildings in a great display of patriotism. Later, the war veterans of different ages laid wreaths in what was an emotional moment.
Following the wreath-laying, “In Flanders Fields” was quietly recited by those attending. The two minutes silence that preceded John McCrae’s timeless poem were undisturbed except for the church bells mournfully ringing around the Cenotaph.
“Six church bells throughout the city rang during the two moments silence,” said Mayor Bratina during the closing remarks about the new addition to the ceremony. The six memorial bells were from churches throughout the downtown.
As the service came to an end a Lancaster Bomber from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum thunderously flew over the city as a reminder of our freedom.