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Hundreds gather at Place du Canada as Remembrance Day marked in Montreal
Published Monday, November 11, 2019 8:53AM EST Last Updated Monday, November 11, 2019 8:34PM EST
MONTREAL – Montreal’s official Remembrance Day ceremony took place Monday morning at Place du Canada.
Hundreds attended the solemn ceremony at the cenotaph, despite the cold and snowy weather.
Dignitaries and politicians lay wreaths at the cenotaph along with families of fallen soldiers and veterans – including some from World War II.
"I served 15 years in the Royal Canadian Artillery, and I know people that never came back from abroad and for me it was important to remember them," said veteran Carlos Afonso.
For the first time in Canada, the Royal Canadian Navy included its ceremonial salute, 'Piping the Side' in the ceremony.
"The commanding officer when they're embarking or disembarking from a naval vessel, are given the ceremonial salute," explained Lt. (N) Patrick White, Royal Canadian Navy Reserve, HMCS Donnacona. "And of course this is something we're very much hoping will be rolled out across the country going forward."
Civilians took part
Hundreds of civilians also came to pay their respects, including Carrie Agapie and her children.
"I just want them to appreciate the sacrifices of others and celebrate the simple freedoms that we have to say what we want, believe what we want," said Agapie.
David Gilchrist attended the ceremony. He grew emotional when speaking of his father's uncle, who was killed at 20 years old, he said.
"I still feel it, even if I wasn't there," he said,
MUHC remembers in Flanders Field writer
At the MUHC, Jonh McRae, a ceremony honored the poet who wrote the iconic poem In Flanders Fields.
McRae wrote the poem as a tribute to his friend who was killed in the fierce fighting during WWI.
The poem is iconic and is often read during remembrance day ceremonies.
Quebec City ceremony
A ceremony also took place in Quebec City, where people gathered at La Croix du Sacrifice near the entrance of the Plains of Abraham.
Premier Francois Legault and Public Security Minister Genevieve Guilbault were among those who laid wreaths in memory of fallen service members.
More Canadians marking Remembrance Day: survey
A recent survey suggests more Canadians are planning to mark Remembrance Day this year, perhaps in a salute to the few remaining veterans of the Second World War.
The poll was commissioned by Historica Canada, the organization behind the popular Heritage Minute videos.
The online survey, conducted by Ipsos, indicates 88 per cent of Canadians feel it's important to attend such events while veterans of the Second World War can still be present.
-- with files from The Canadian Press