Extra touches added to 100th Remembrance
This year, Remembrance Day marks 100 years since the armistice that ended the First World War came into effect. Accordingly, there will be a number of special touches to ceremonies this week in the London area.
Forest City residents will gather at the Victoria Park cenotaph on Sunday morning, as they always have. There also will be a candlelight service Saturday night at 7 p.m. Participants are requested to meet at the carillon bells in the park and walk to the cenotaph for a short service.
On Remembrance Day, the veterans’ parade forms at the Delta Armouries at 10:15 a.m., then proceeds along Dundas Street to Wellington Street and north to Dufferin Avenue, arriving at the cenotaph at about 10:45 a.m. Woodstock residents will gather at 11 a.m. at the Victoria Park Cenotaph at 413 Buller St.
One feature new this year, in honour of the centenary, is an initiative from the Royal Canadian Legion called Bells of Peace that invites churches in London and across the country to ring their bells 100 times at sunset (5:05 p.m.) on Nov. 11. “That’s a big thing. It’s a nice gesture,” said local Legion commanding officer Caspar Koevoets.
“We’ve had very good response from the churches that have bells,” Koevoets said.
“Our (Legion) padres will have some special words for the 100th anniversary,” Koeveots said.
“The armistice is a historical fact. It is also the moment when we started honouring veterans,” said Georgiana Stanciu, executive director of the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum at Wolseley Barracks. “Our museum has a very heavy schedule.”
Stanciu said there already has been a strong response to the museum’s Wall of Remembrance, decked out with poppy cards filled out by civilians.
“It’s for the general public to extend their appreciation and share their thoughts,” she said.
Saturday, at 11 a.m., the RCR Association will unveil a revised digital regimental roll of honour at the museum.
“It’s pretty sophisticated,” Stanciu said of the roll of honour.
Stanciu says the First World War section of the RCR Museum is “quite extensive.”
The museum will be open late, until 6 p.m., Sunday.
Active members of the military will be seen throughout the city on Sunday.
“London garrison will take part in various Remembrance Day ceremonies around the city,” said 31 Canadian Brigade Group spokesperson Andrew McLaughlin.
Visitors to the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London are encouraged to leave notes on a “living wall” acknowledging the sacrifices of those who served.