The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 100 years ago, officially marked the end of a four-year-long war in which more than 650,000 Canadian men and woman courageously fought to defend our freedom. On Sunday, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Waterloo Region remembered those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
This Remembrance Day marked 100 years since the end of the First World War — a war that took the lives of more than 66,000 Canadian soldiers. Residents of Waterloo Region braved the cold, poppies pinned against their chests, and honoured the men and women who fought, and continue to fight, for our freedom.
Hundreds gathered at the cenotaph on King Street at 10:30 a.m. to pay homage to those who gave their lives, and continue to give their lives, for our freedom.
The event started at the Royal Canadian Legion-Preston Branch 126 on Westminster Drive. From there, veterans, police officers, cadets, emergency responders and branch members proudly marched to the cenotaph on King Street.
The ceremony was followed by a series of wreath layings and two minutes of silence to honour Cambridge veterans and the war dead.
The moment of silence was broken by the reading of a prayer and the sound of bagpipes. To mark 100 years of remembrance for Canadians, and in homage to the Great War, 100 peace bells chimed at dusk for the 100 years of remembrance.
After the ceremony, community members shared a warm meal of chili at the Royal Canadian Legion.
Ceremonies also took place at the Hespeler and Galt cenotaphs.
In Waterloo, the morning started with a parade at 10:15 a.m., where veterans and council members marched from Regina and Bridgeport to the 10:30 service at the cenotaph in Uptown Waterloo.
The ceremony was led by Capt. Charles Benyair. Mayor Dave Jaworsky and MPP Catherine Fife were two of many involved in the series of wreath layings, which was followed by two minutes of silence to honour those who lost their lives during while serving their country.
The moment of silence was followed by a reading of prayer and the traditional playing of bagpipes.
Today we honour the Canadians who gave their lives so we can live ours and we thank those who continue to fight for our freedom.
Lest We Forget.
— with photos and files by Rose Vangrootel. Video by Terry Foster.