Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, and Major-General Paul Ormsby, Canadian Defence Attaché, hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Embassy of Canada on November 11, 2021.
Embassy staff joined members of Canadian Defence Liaison Staff (Washington) at the rotunda to honour and remember those who served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace.
“These Canadians left the safety of hometowns across the country to stand with and defend our neighbours,” said Ambassador Hillman. “They committed themselves to making a difference in the lives of strangers, to giving hope and opportunity to a generation.”
Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the end the First World War. This year, memories remained with those who fought in that war and the many since, including veterans of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
“As we watched events unfold in Afghanistan, we recalled the uncertainty after September 11, 2001,” said Major-General Ormsby. “We couldn’t know what lay in store in the months and years that followed.”
“Like thousands who stood before them, they upheld a tradition of risking everything in pursuit of peace,” said Ambassador Hillman. “The sacred act of laying down one’s own life for strangers passed down through generations.”
This year marked the centennial anniversary of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. More than 2,300,000 Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history, more than 118,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.
“When these flowers bloom, their crimson petals dot the battlefields of Europe, lasting for just one day before returning to the soil,” said Ambassador Hillman. “One hundred years later, their overlapping petals, their brief bloom, remain appropriate emblems of lives cut short, of generations changed forever, the true spirit of remembrance.”
Attendees paused in a moment of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month to remember those who died in service of Canada.
“To our Fallen and their families, we say we remember,” said Major-General Ormsby. “We honour those who did everything their country asked of them, who paid for the pursuit of peace with their lives. We carry them with us, always.”
While COVID-19 prevention measures prevented public attendance at the annual event, the ceremony was livestreamed on the Connect2Canada Facebook page.
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