At this hour, on this day in 1918, the cessation of hostilities took effect on the Western Front, signaling the end of World War I.  

My earliest memory of Remembrance Day is in grade school. I remember the teacher stopping class, and we all stood at eleven o’clock for a moment of silence. I don’t remember what grade I was in at the time but if I close my eyes, I can see my hands on the desktop as I push myself up to stand. Broadcast over the PA system, I can hear one of the students from the school band playing taps on his bugle. It is a clear memory even today. As students, we were taught to remember those who fought and died in conflicts around the world.

Standing on the battlefield, grieving the loss of a dear friend who died the day before, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, in May of 1915, wrote the poem In Flanders Field which for many, is a significant part of the Remembrance Day ceremonies.

I am proud that as Canadians we honour those who put on the uniform and stand on guard, both at home and abroad.


In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

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