As Canadians across the country paused for a moment of silence at 11 a.m. today, various ceremonies were taking place across Kingston and the area. At the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Branch 560, attendees filled the parking lot just off of Montreal Street, in front of the Legion’s memorial to those soldiers lost in the First and Second World War, as well as the Korean War.
With the COVID-19 pandemic having seen most Remembrance Day ceremonies cancelled over the past two years, Kingstonians were eager to show their respects and honour those veterans currently serving, retired, and no longer with us. Outdoor ceremonies in parks and at Legions throughout the city saw attendees, poppies proudly pinned to their coats, gather together to remember and mark the significance of those sacrifices made by those who serve our country in the Canadian Armed Forces.
At the RCL Branch 560 location, the somber ceremony brought together not only community members and dignitaries, but also those from various branches of the CAF — those currently serving, and those who have retired. The familiar but ever-moving solemn notes of The Last Post rang out, hanging in the fall air as attendees young and old stood in silence.
On this Remembrance Day, like so many since John McRae’s poem was first published in 1915, let us all remember the brave individuals who’ve dedicated their time and lives to serving Canada as we do McRae’s everlasting words:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.