Canada’s National War Memorial has been rededicated to include veterans of the Afghanistan and Boer wars, in a sombre Remembrance Day ceremony held three weeks after the shooting death of a soldier at the cenotaph.
Thousands packed the corridor around the Memorial in the heart of Ottawa on Tuesday morning, amid sunny skies and tight security, in a ceremony attended by Princess Anne, Governor-General David Johnston and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The ceremony capped a year that Canada marked the end of its Afghan mission, the centennial of the start of the First World War and saw two soldiers, Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, killed in attacks last month, with Cpl. Cirillo gunned down at the Memorial itself. A surge of onlookers came Tuesday to pay their respects.
“We have had sombre occasion in past weeks to ponder our identity as the very symbols of our peace and freedom were violated,” Mr. Johnston said during the ceremony. “And now here we stand, and here we shall remain, unshaken in resolve, grateful in remembrance of those who have sacrificed, rededicated, like this memorial, to our eternal duty – peace and freedom, the very soul of our nation.”
There was no official estimate of how many people attended, though many attendees said the crowd appeared larger than in recent years. The number of police officers on hand was “almost double” the amount normally on duty for the ceremony, Ottawa Police Staff Sergeant Lynne Turnbull estimated.
Tuesday’s ceremony included the revealing of new inscriptions marking the dates of the Afghanistan War and Boer War on the Memorial. A new message, “In Service to Canada,” was also added.
Princess Anne attended the rededication 75 years after her grandfather, King George VI, attended its official opening. The memorial was rededicated in 1982 to honour veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War, and rededicated again on Tuesday. Princess Anne laid a wreath at the cenotaph, signed with her name and “we will remember them” in English and French.
The ceremony was not without its problems. Technical issues with the sound system persisted through much of the program, at one point leaving the Master of Ceremonies without a working microphone. Only those in ear shot of him heard him announce the arrival of some of the dignitaries, including Princess Anne herself. The speaker system was later restored.
Security was hiked for the event after the attacks last month, with police saying they would have more officers on hand and be focused more on security than ceremony. Security officials were seen on nearby rooftops and the public was kept across the street from the memorial itself, where only dignitaries, veterans, journalists and other officials were permitted. Police lined the street in between.
“It’s different, because of the recent events,” said retired Chief Warrant Officer Mario Belcourt, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony. “The fact [Cpl. Cirillo’s death] happened here is what makes it more outrageous,” he added.
George Squance, a 94-year-old veteran who sent 30 years in the Navy, was also among the attendees. “I’m quite impressed,” he said after the ceremony, turning to point towards the nearby crowds. “You look across here, and you see a forest of people’s heads.”
Helen M. Mills, a 92-year-old veteran who served with the Royal Canadian Air Force service police in the Second World War, said she comes to Remembrance Day ceremonies every year and that she saw more people on hand at Tuesday’s ceremony. She applauded the decision to add the Afghan and Boer war years to the memorial. “I think that’s a very good idea. You should be acknowledged. When you go to war, you’re a soldier,” she said.
Among the crowd of onlookers was Chuck Smith, 55, who wore an Ottawa Senators hockey jersey with “Cirillo” on the back and its number, 24, reflecting the soldier’s age at the time of his death last month. “It’s just my little way of showing respect,” said Mr. Smith, who arrived two hours before the ceremony to secure a spot along the fence. “…I just kind of hope it helps people to remember.”
The Princess and Mr. Johnston spoke, while Mr. Harper – who returned Monday night from China, and departs later Tuesday for New Zealand – did not. He and his wife, Laureen Harper, joined the Princess and Governor-General in speaking to veterans afterwards, and were overheard by journalists largely exchanging brief greetings and discussing the good weather. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau was also among the crowd, and laid a wreath, while NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair attended a ceremony in Halifax.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
Canadians need to remember that the vast majority of those who died were men.
Now Canada and in particular operates with a Government that promotes violence
In Ottawa, its those who are supposed to serve and protect who commit crimes against humanity and in particular, crimes of terror based on extreme feminist agenda of "Gender Superiority.
In Ottawa it's lawyers like Marguerite Isobel Lewis who personally, knowingly fabricate evidence that Fathers admit to being pedophiles when there is not a shred of evidence to support the allegations.
The Most vile examples of humanity who commit acts of terrorism are not ISIS but those who are Lawyers, Judges and Police officers like Marguerite Isobel Lewis, a lawyer for the Ottawa Branch of Ontario's Billion Dollar funded Criminal Cartel called the Children's Aid Societies of Ontario.
Check out the video "Powerful as God" at www.Blakout.ca which is an understatement of the Crimes against Children, crimes against fathers, crimes against Humanity committed by the lawyers like Marguerite Isobel Lewis who is part of Ontario's War on Men, A Government Faccsist policy of "Gender Superiority" that targets the most vulnerable in society, full time fathers who are male victims of domestic violence by women who are actively encouraged to be violent towards men by our Fassscist Government of Ontario.
When you remember how our troops died, spare a thought for the modern victims of Fascccist idiology, like that of Ottawa Police whose Detective Peter Van Der Zander personally Fabricates evidence to NOT charge violent women and to place children with the most violent of mothers.
If you want to want to fight Faccsizm, you can meet them at the Ottawa Police, the Children's Aid Society of Ottawa and, the Judges who encourage Criminal Offenses against the Administration of Justice by "Rubber Stamping" requests that they know are Criminal in nature.
For a dead beat Terrorist, visit 161 Elgin Street Ottawa, you will find them in Judges Chambers on the Fifth Floor.
Their names, Jennifer Belishen, Linhares De_Sousa, Former CAS lawyer Tim Minnema who personally fabricates evidence to assist violent mothers and who turns a blind eye to criminal offenses by lawyers in the court room.
Our Judiciary are entrusted to be the final and ONLY form of accountability for Ontario's Largest Criminal Cartel and instead, they blatantly encourage Violence towards children and fathers.
It's enough to make you want to puke at the word Judge, Police Officer or Child Protection Worker.
Ottawa Mens Centre.