Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Paying Final Respects

After a visit to the Canadian War Museum, I returned downtown on Remembrance Day to the War Memorial, where it has become habit in the years since the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been placed here to leave poppies after the ceremonies.

Wreaths are part of the official ceremonies, placed around each side of the Memorial, from the governor general, government and opposition leaders, the Silver Cross Mother, the youth of Canada, and then onwards. Veterans groups, military commanders, cabinet ministers, community organizations, embassies, schools, and more organizations place wreaths during the service.

Coming back around gave another view on the Tomb. It contains the remains of a Canadian soldier who was buried at Vimy Ridge a century ago, and re-interred here on what is sacred ground, right before the War Memorial. Two active servicemen, both from the Army, paused to place their poppies and give a salute in the fading light.


  1. I've never seen what happens in our nation's capitol on Veteran's Day but I would hope our tributes are as touching.

  2. The red poppies are a powerful image of the blood sacrificed for country.


  3. i always am curious why Americans don't use poppies ...they are so lovely looking. so toughing. ( ;

  4. A great and beautiful tribute, William !

  5. @Kay: I hope so.

    @Nancy: it is.

    @Francisco: thanks.

    @Janis: they are indeed.

    @Marianne: I agree.

    @Tom: it certainly is.

    @Beth: I wonder if the division of Memorial and Veterans Days have something to do with it.

    @Karl: definitely.

  6. This is a wonderful paean to those who went off to war to fight for freedom. The poppies are a wonderful, traditional touch for Veteran's Day. Enjoyed your photos very much.

  7. Great to see all those poppies. They are a wonderful and strong symbol.
    I dsidn't know about this symbol before I started blogging about 13 years ago, because the Netherlands was neutral during World War I. So we were not brought up with this remembrances, but only those of World War II.

  8. Beautiful! The poppy wreaths are lovely too.

  9. It's all very impressive and makes us remember the reality of war.

  10. @Lowell: thank you.

    @Cloudia: indeed.

    @Sharon: it was.

    @Jan: it's certainly a tradition that rises up out of the First World War, especially with the links to John McCrae's poem, and with your country having had stayed out of that war, it's not a surprise.

    @Lois: they are indeed.

    @Red: it does.

  11. What a lovely post although very sad. I am in tears.

    cheers, parsnip

  12. My heart goes out to all fallen vets and also those who live in the shadows

  13. It helps that poppies are so photogenic.

  14. This is a very special & touching memorial.

  15. Touching is the word that comes to my mind!

  16. Honour where honour is due. One seeing Ottawa newspaper it shows local weather is naturally getting colder you would find it hard to believe what a difficulty that poses to me from a warmer area, makes me fearful at the same time as wanting to experience a REAL winter.

  17. @Parsnip: thank you.

    @MB: thanks.

    @Revrunner: they certainly do stand out.

    @Christine: it was designed in the right way.

    @RedPat: it certainly is.

    @Julia: we do get a respectable winter here. We've already had our first snow.

  18. You have captured tender feelings and care in all your recent post for remembrance.

  19. I like the idea that anyone can leave their poppy there as a tribute to the fallen.

  20. A great ceremony, I hope it continues forever.

  21. That was quite a colorful and special remembrance to see, William.

  22. Such a wonderful tribute.
    I so enjoyed seeing your photographs William, thank you.

    All the best Jan

  23. @Bill: it is.

    @Tammie: thank you.

    @Fun60: it was a spontaneous thing, the first year after the Tomb had been placed there, and it really took off.

    @Mari: indeed.

    @Pat: me too.

    @Beatrice: I always take part in this ceremony.

    @Jan: you're welcome.

    @Klara: it was.