‘Cana­dian he­roes span ev­ery con­flict,’ premier says

We must not for­get lessons of past, adds lieu­tenant-gov­er­nor

The Peterborough Examiner - - Canada & World - ALANNA RIZZA

TORONTO — On­tario Premier Doug Ford en­cour­aged Cana­di­ans to re­mem­ber sol­diers past and present Sun­day as they re­flected on the cen­ten­nial of the end of the First World War.

“Cana­dian he­roes span ev­ery con­flict and ev­ery gen­er­a­tion,” Ford told a crowd as­sem­bled in front of the On­tario Vet­er­ans’ Me­mo­rial at the provin­cial leg­is­la­ture.

“Many made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice, and for that — for keep­ing our coun­try safe, we will be for­ever grate­ful,” he said. “Be­cause of their courage and sac­ri­fice, most Cana­di­ans will never know the hor­rors of war.”

The Remembrance Day cer­e­mony saw as many as 500 troops march to­ward Queen’s Park while John McCrae’s poem “In Flan­ders Fields” was read aloud.

The Queen’s Park cer­e­mony was one of many sim­i­lar events held at le­gions, ceno­taphs and churches across the province.

Lt.-Gov. El­iz­a­beth Dowdeswell ad­dressed the as­sem­bled crowd, say­ing that while im­mense progress has been made in the last cen­tury, we must not for­get the lessons of the past.

“To­day we are liv­ing in strange and un­cer­tain times — times when democ­ra­cies around the world are frag­ile. We face sig­nif­i­cant change that all too of­ten threat­ens to tear us apart,” she said. “In many ways that’s an age-old story,” she said. “His­tory’s many con­flicts, the ones we re­mem­ber to­day, must re­mind us of our mu­tual vul­ner­a­bil­ity and of the im­per­a­tive to do our ut­most to fos­ter em­pa­thy and peace.”

Richard Rohmer, hon­orary lieu­tenant-gen­eral for the Cana­dian Armed Forces and vet­eran of the Sec­ond World War, also spoke to the crowd and ac­knowl­edged the sol­diers who served be­fore him.

“I am six years younger than the event to­day which turns 100,” he noted, ref­er­enc­ing the sign­ing of the ar­mistice that ended the fight­ing in 1918.

Ford said his govern­ment is for­ever grate­ful for the sac­ri­fices sol­diers have made, and listed some of his ef­forts to make vet­er­ans’ lives “a lit­tle eas­ier.”

CHRISTO­PHER KATSAROV THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Hon­orary Lt.-Gen. Richard Rohmer places a wreath dur­ing the Cer­e­mony of Remembrance held Sun­day at Queen’s Park in Toronto.

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