Friday 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day Ceremony, Fort York, Toronto, ON

Gord had the day off (he works for a bank) and I worked from home today (it's been a busy week!).

We don't live far from Fort York so we went down for the Remembrance Day ceremony.

Fort York and the Toronto Chapter of the IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire) are proud to present the annual Remembrance Day Service at the Strachan Avenue Military Cemetery, just west of Fort York.

The service will feature military costumed staff from the Fort and standard-bearers from the IODE. A processional parade, led by fife and drum, will gather at the parking lot at 10:45 a.m. and make its way to the cemetery.

This evocative site of the War of 1812 is a poignant setting to honour soldiers who fell in the War of 1812, the Rebellion Crises, Crimean War, Northwest Rebellion, South African War, two World Wars, Korean War and recent conflicts.

The first ceremony was held there in 1952 with about 100 people in attendance ... today there were about 600.

When we got there, there was a crowd gathered around the old military burial ground.

It was cool to see today's soldiers face-to-face with soldiers from the days of Fort York (1800s).

The service included the singing of Oh Canada, prayers and then the singing of God Save the Queen.

There were Toronto police officers in attendance on horses.

Here's the contrast between 1800s Toronto and Toronto today ...

Wreaths were left by the police association, EMS, etc.

Veterans were led out by the drummer and piper.

Afterwards, many put their poppies on the wreaths ... here's Gord.

There were flowers and tributes left against the walls of the military burial ground (there are old headstones preserved in the wall) for fallen soldiers.

It was a lovely service and it makes us all appreciate how much the soldiers of the past and present have done for us to keep us free.

Here's a video of the ceremony courtesy of Peter Mykusz.

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