Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Canada Remembers Heroes Fallen Past

                 People lay poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. BLAIR GABLE / REUTERS  
The Canadian Press
Gov. Gen. David Johnston has formally rededicated the National War Memorial to commemorate all who have died in the service of Canada.

Johnston wore full military uniform as he spoke to the gathered crowd, estimated to be in the tens of thousands of people, about the importance of memory.

There is a new inscription on the granite wall — "In Service to Canada - Au service du Canada" — and the dates of the Afghanistan mission and the South African War have also been added.

Princess Anne delivered a message from the Queen, who said it is fitting to rededicate the monument to all Canadians who gave their lives in the service of peace, justice and freedom.

Johnston also paid tribute to two soldiers killed last month — one of them just steps away from where the Governor General was standing.

Johnston said Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo have joined the ranks of thousands of other dead, who will always be remembered.

Johnston spoke of the terrible death toll of the First World War, then called the Great War, and the promises made to remember the dead.

"'One owes respect to the living,' said Voltaire. 'To the dead one owes only the truth," Johnston said.
He said Canadians refused to forget after the Great War.

"We noted the names and recorded them in books and engraved them on walls in the hope that we would ever protect them against anonymity. Today we stand as one, in silent tribute, not only to keep the vow made long ago but also to rededicate this symbol of that promise."

He pointed to the top of the memorial.

"Look, see the bronze figures of peace and freedom. Their arms are linked, they cannot be separated, because freedom without peace is agony and peace without freedom is slavery and we will tolerate neither.

"This is the truth we owe our dead."

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version contained an incorrect date for when the memorial was rededicated.

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