Public returns to Grand Parade for Remembrance Day ceremony
COVID forces attendees to wear masks, show proof of vaccine to ensure safe ceremony in Halifax
November 11, 2021, 4:39 pm ASTLast Updated: November 11, 2021, 5:32 pm
For the first time since 2019, hundreds of people wearing poppies attended a ceremony at Halifax’s Grand Parade Thursday morning to honour and remember those who have served their country.
“It’s super to be able to be back with the public, it just lends more to the thought of what remembrance means,” Royal Canadian Legion Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command Zone 15 Cmdr. Glen Leduc said.
Leduc, who acted as master of ceremonies, said originally the ceremony was going to have a very similar feel to last year’s, where only invited guests were able to attend. A change in COVID-19 protocols, which required a mask mandate and vaccine verification, allowed the public to attend.
Leduc noted that this year marked the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the poppy campaign in Canada and asked the crowd to wear their poppies with pride.
“If we don’t remember what sacrifices and hardships that the veterans have done for us, we run the risk of forgetting altogether,” Leduc said. “We should be thinking of them every day and when you see a veteran, you should be saying thank you.”
Retired RCMP constable Brian Carter said service is very important to his family. His five uncles served and survived the Second World War. Carter uses Remembrance Day as an opportunity to remember his uncles and his colleagues who have fallen.
“I’ve served with people on that police memorial (in Grand Parade) including Heidi Stevenson, who was killed in the Portapique incident,” Carter said. “Remembrance Day for me is about remembering their service and sacrifice.”
Navy veteran Angus Cameron has been working as a veterans’ advocate for the past 15 years. He brings issues to government and lobbies on veterans’ behalf. His accomplishments include introducing veterans motorcycle licence plates to Nova Scotia, bringing back veteran ID cards and stopping the separation of veterans from their spouses at the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building.
“We have to support our military members and remember those who came before us,” Cameron said.
Peace By Chocolate CEO Tareq Hadhad emigrated from Syria to Canada in 2016 with hopes of having his kids in safe schools, a brighter future and freedom of speech. He is grateful for all the Canadian veterans who have sacrificed to make his hopes a reality.
“We are saying thank you to all Canadian veterans, those who have sacrificed their lives and those who are on the front lines these days who fight and have fought for our right to be able to immigrate to Canada,” Hadhad said.
Have a story idea? Let us know