Friday, November 13, 2015

At The War Memorial

I have shots today taken close to the National War Memorial on Remembrance Day. I was up on Wellington Street northwest of the Memorial, an area I usually go to, and this was a good spot. Beforehand, this was a marshaling point for the parade, with bagpipers leading the way. The Memorial itself lingers in the background of the second to fifth shots. The veterans followed them on course to their place for the ceremony. Even in their nineties, these men still have the sense of the soldier about them.


The ceremony itself was very emotional (you can watch it here if you like), and the veterans marched back this way for the formal review by the Governor General, followed by other military units. The crowds applauded them and called out their thanks.


Later after visiting the War Museum (photos of that to come in December), I returned to the Memorial after the sun had set. Poppies adorned the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, wreaths were placed around the Memorial steps (the two below were placed by the Governor General and the Silver Cross Mother, a tradition that dates back decades- this year's Silver Cross Mother lost her son while he was on duty in Afghanistan), and the Memorial was lit up for the night. Many people were still placing poppies, hours after the ceremonies.

33 comments:

  1. I think it is wonderful that such an event is supported by so many. Your last photograph is striking.

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  2. A very moving post today. I love seeing the oldest being recognized. The poppies are beautiful, too. Great!

    Janis
    GDP

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  3. Lucky you to be there in person, William!

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  4. These acts give encouragement to the people.

    Tomás.

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  5. I guess the sound was good as your pictures...

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  6. So emotional William. I remember when I was taking shots of the Anzac Day parade I didn't even realise I was crying until I dripped all over myself :) Wonderful images here.

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  7. Such a moving day, in thousands of places across the country.

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  8. Beautiful moments captured on your camera. We went to our local cenotaph and when we got home I turned on the TV to catch the last of the service in Ottawa. Very moving.

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  9. A beautiful tribute through photos

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  10. What a nice set of photos to cover this event.

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  11. To me it looks like they are still marching. That's something for the older vets. It would make you think about their contributions and the good they did. You focused on one aspect of the ceremony which does justice to that event.

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  12. I love the tartan, and the poppy has been one of my favourite flowers ever since I can remember!

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  13. Wonderful! The night shot at the bottom is fantastic.

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  14. I think it's wonderful that Canada shows such respect and gratitude to her veterans.

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  15. Looks like a very successful memorial.

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  16. Your photos show the event well.

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  17. @Whisk: there's something about them that never loses the old ways. You see it in their step and in their eyes.

    @Lauren: the papers said there were 35 000 around the Memorial for the ceremonies.

    @Janis: the poppies on the Tomb started spontaneously after it was installed here. It's become quite a tradition now.

    @EG: I consider it a privilege to do so.

    @Tomas: it is, indeed.

    @VP: they had speakers, so one could hear everything.

    @Grace: the sound of the piper's lament always strikes the deepest chord with me during this service.

    @Gnome: it certainly is.

    @Pamela: it was quite a day, both here and at the War Museum. I chatted with a staff member there for a few minutes, and found it quite enlightening.

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  18. @Aimee: thank you!

    @Sharon: thanks.

    @Red: I think it does them good to see such strong support. And since it's not possible for me to get any closer (I did notice the movement of press photographers at the Memorial during the service), focusing on the veterans marching is an ideal subject.

    @Linda: the poppy now has such strong value, symbolically speaking.

    @Jose: I saw the Memorial like that and figured I'd give it a try. I was pleased by how it turned out.

    @Norma: and so much the better now, I think, with a new government in office, but the people certainly since the 50th anniversary of the Second World War just keep coming out.

    @Pat: there were a whole lot of people.

    @Marleen: thank you.

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  19. I watched it on TV! I really like your last night shot, William.

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  20. Perfect reportage, love the pipers of course and your last shot!

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  21. Very moving scenes. The drummers look splendid in their uniforms.

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  22. Oo! I now have this sudden urge to have my own tartan. :-)

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  23. A very special day, beautifully captured!

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  24. You found the perfect spot there William, lovely pictures of a very special day...

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  25. I knew you'd have some wonderful photos of the day's events. I love the new (about ten years?) tradition of placing the poppies on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It allows everyone to participate in some capacity. Nicely done.

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  26. Very interesting, very impressive, very poignant, and very beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing!

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  27. Great shots! The last shot in particular is haunting.
    I'm pleased that the poppies haven't vanished as a symbol. They seem to be gradually disappearing in the U.S.

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  28. Nice pictures. It would be nicer if peace was more popular.

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  29. @RedPat: thanks!

    @Ciel: thank you.

    @Gemma: the pipes and drummers came from each branch of the services. And though it's not quite noticeable in the photos unless you look for them, all three branches of the military and one from the Mounties are represented in four sentries standing on the steps at each corner of the Memorial.

    @Revrunner: I've only worn clan colours once, but as a vest, as part of a wedding party. The groom didn't make us wear kilts!

    @Denise: thank you!

    @Geoff: it turned out to be a good position.

    @Hilary: I think it's been that long, and it started out as completely spontaneous by the public.

    @Lowell: you're welcome.

    @Kay: they're very strongly held to here.

    @Linda: it would be, yes.

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  30. It is the older ones in the wheelchairs and the older ones marching behind them that tells what a generation that was.

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  31. wow, looks like a lot of poppies. so pretty. ( :

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  32. We had the Memorial here too and the bagpipes and the marching parade.

    Not many left of the old timers. Most are 80 and 90 and older. Bless them. They fought for our country. For the world all over.

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