Monday, November 12, 2018

The World Remembers

This is the Government Conference Centre downtown, lit up by night. First opened in 1912 as the main train station, it has served for years for the federal government in conference space uses, and the Senate will be meeting here for some years with the refurbishments that will soon be underway in Centre Block. The banners you see here are a fitting way to mark Remembrance Day. The building has over the last few years at this time of year hosted The World Remembers, an idea envisioned by the Canadian actor R.H. Thomson, whose family history includes several great-uncles who served and died in the Great War.

Several countries around the world have participated in a simple but poignant tribute to those killed in the First World War as each year of the centennial has unfolded. Names of each of the dead of participating countries in that given year (this being the centennial for the final year) have been projected onto a screen throughout the nights this year from September 12th until dawn on Remembrance Day. The primary Canadian setting for this happened to be this building, and there were other locations.

Signs about the project, including the death tolls by each of the countries participating in the project by the year, can be found here. The last year of the war was as horrendous as those that had preceded it. Banners marking the beginning and ending years hang from either side of the main sign.

The screen itself hangs on the west side of the building, overlooking the Rideau Canal. Names are projected onto the screen from a projection booth along the Plaza Bridge stairs. A Canadian name is at the centre, accompanied by names of others with national designations alongside them. That's from both sides of the war that was meant to end all wars. I find it fitting and poignant that they're commemorated together- brothers (and sisters) in arms. 


  1. A great tribute to the brave people.

  2. It is hard to grasp the extent of the world wars. I often try to put myself in the shoes of the women back home and don’t succeed.

  3. my great aunt was an army nurse. so honorable. ( ;

  4. It is good to remember that WWI affected other countries, too. It is easy to be egocentric about these things. Thank you for reminding us. The building lit up at night is beautiful.


  5. This was a wonderful display and a great tribute. I admire Canada for this.

  6. There have been some poignant memorials to commemorate the centenary.

  7. Hello, great memorial post and tribute. Happy Monday, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

  8. They've made a very good use of an old train station.

  9. @Nancy: it is indeed.

    @Joan: the scope is unimaginable in this day and age.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Beth: many women served.

    @Janis: you're welcome.

    @Jeanie: thank you!

    @Jenny: there have been.

    @Eileen: thank you.

    @Jan: it is!

    @Tom: definitely.

    @RedPat: indeed.

    @Sharon: so was I.

    @Red: they have indeed.

  10. It is unbelievable the conditions the young soldiers had to endure William.. I do worry though that although we remember and honour them we are also forgetting and heading down that same path again. I hope I am wrong. Excellent shots of the Remembrance Day projections.

  11. This is such a special and emotional day.

  12. 100 YEARS and we still seem to have learnt nothing about peace.

  13. There are some wonderful banners and photos and posters here and what I thought was special was the recognition given to nurses. The medics (nurses and doctors) working on or close to the front lines are true heroes. Years ago when I was teaching, I got to know a nurse who served in Vietnam. She agreed to come to my class and help the students understand the work she did. Incredible. But the doctors and nurses active in our wars are too often ignored when it comes to handing out plaudits. It's interesting that the show, Grey's Anatomy, includes actors who played doctors who served in Afghanistan. That doesn't happen often.

  14. Wonderful tribute to those who served in WWI ~ 'the war to end all war.' ~ Wish it were so ~

    Happy Veterans Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  15. An excellent tribute to all those who were involved in WW1 whatever their contribution.

  16. A wonderful tribute for all those who gave their lives.

  17. I wish there was an end to very many have been lost. Beautiful tributes.

  18. The Great War -- 100 years ago -- and to think it was supposed to be the last.So terrible -- why don't we ever learn. A beautiful tribute.

  19. @Piaseczynski: thank you.

    @Grace: I think that a project like this takes the right approach- one of commemoration. I know that it was done internationally as well- I had seen a list of 2018 sites some weeks ago, but wasn't able to find it again.

    @MB: indeed.

    @Iris: one wonders if we do learn.

    @Catarina: yesterday was definitely emotional.

    @Lady Fi: not when the world's most powerful nation elects a moron who thinks that making a joke at this time of year is acceptable, and who panders to the same mentality that triggered the Second World War.

    @Marleen: it definitely is.

    @Lowell: one of the shots I took yesterday was in a special exhibit on the end of the First World War- a panel about nurses.

    @Carol: if only.

    @Fun60: definitely.

    @Bill: it was.

    @Janey: I think this project was the right way to do it. I have something else that pays tribute tomorrow, that was done well too.

    @Lois: it was a good way to commemorate.

    @Sallie: thank you.

  20. I salute all the brave Canadians who served.

  21. It’s good to see the nurses remembered!

  22. A most wonderful tribute for all those who gave their lives.
    We must remember them all.

    All the best Jan

  23. Dreadful days. I wish it HAD ended all wars!

  24. What a solemn and touching tribute to the fallen who so bravely fought to ensure our freedoms!

  25. Canada has the finest commemoration of the First World War that I've seen anywhere. Thank you for sharing the information with me.

  26. Lots of talk here about building a WWI memorial.

  27. Will we ever learn the lessons of history??

  28. This is a brilliant tribute William.

  29. It's interesting how technology brings us back to this low-tech war.

  30. Nice idea with the lights on the building.

  31. @Catalyst: they did astonishing things.

    @Marie: that it is.

    @Jan: I agree.

    @Kay: it had the chance, but failed to do so.

    @Pat: I found the concept to be very moving.

    @DJan: you're welcome.

    @Revrunner: it's a good idea.

    @Italiafinlandia: such lessons can be hard for some to learn.

    @Denise: I really think so.

    @Jennifer: and this is a good kind of tech for it.

    @Rosie: it really is.

    @Klara: I think so.