Hundreds honour WWI soldiers at ceremony
Hundreds of people braved the rain and gathered at the National War Memorial on July 1 to commemorate the Battles of the Somme and Beaumont-Hamel.
The torrential downpour and the wind did not dampen the spirits of all who came together to remember the sacrifice of soldiers who lost their lives on that summer day in 1916. History tells us that British and Commonwealth Forces suffered over sixty thousand casualties, twenty thousand of which were killed or missing i n action. The Royal Newfoundland Regiment suffered catastrophic casualties during an early morning attack at the village of Beaumont-Hamel, with nearly the entire Regiment sustaining casualties within a few minutes.
Amongst t he dignitaries and Defence attachés in attendance, the Commandant of CFSU( O), Colonel Richard Goodyear, had the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Representatives from foreign countries such as New-Zealand, Australia, United-Kingdom, Germany, France and Turkey were also present.
The Governor Genera l ’s Ceremonial Guard, the Atlantic Voice Choir of Ottawa, and the Shallaway Youth Choir of St. John’s, Newfoundland all performed at the ceremony, leading the crowd in emotional renditions of Sing You Home and Ode to Newfoundland.
The ceremony was a memorable one. The National Sentry Program Sentinels standing tall around the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the hundreds of umbrellas surrounding the monument left a vivid image of gratitude on this day of Canadian pride and honour.