OCdts Participate in the Ceremony of Remembrance
By 26476, Jean-Philippe Gingras
The Ceremony of Remembrance is held in the Senate Chamber every year and marks the beginning of Veteran’s Week. This year, the ceremony marks the 20th anniversary of Veterans’ Week and took place in Ottawa on Thursday, November 5, 2015.
The ceremony is to commemorate the commitment of Canada’s veterans who served during wartime and peacekeeping missions. During the hour long ceremony, speeches were made in honor of those who have served and those who died serving Canada. Many important figures made a speech including the speaker of the senate, the speaker of the house of common and the minister of veteran’s affair. As it was mentioned several times during the ceremony, it is because of their sacrifices that we can enjoy the liberty and freedom that we have today. Many important people were present including the Generals of all three elements of the Canadian Armed Forces, Retired Chief of Defence Staff 12320 Walt Natynczyk (photo above – with cadets), members of the parliament including ministers and veterans who served Canada during the wars and peacekeeping operations. A moving address was given by the new Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Kent Hehr.
Nine officer cadets attended the ceremony. We left early in the morning to make sure we got there on time and had enough time to prepare. Our role during the ceremony was to represent the Royal Military College and the young lives lost. Among us, two OCdts read the Commitment to Remember. The French speaker was 26793, Jérome Harvey, and the English text was read by 26573, Denice Zoretich.
Commitment to Remember
They were young, as we are young,
They served, giving freely of themselves.
To them, we pledge, amid the winds of time,
To carry their torch and never forget.
We will remember them.
Promesse de se souvenir
Ils étaient jeunes, jeunes comme nous,
Ils ont servi, donnant généreusement d’eux-mêmes.
Nous leur promettons, en dépit du temps qui passe,
De porter le flambeau et de ne jamais oublier.
Nous nous souviendrons d’eux.
Once the ceremony was done we participated in the reception were we had the chance to speak to veterans and also to high ranking officers, serving or retired, of the Canadian Armed Forces. Shortly after, we had the privilege of a guided visit to the Parliament Library, the Peace Tower, and the Memorial Chamber. The Memorial Chamber was breathtaking and is a place where every Canadian’s name that died during conflicts serving from Confederation in 1867 to current days is written in one of the books. We ended the eventful day with a short visit to the National War Memorial.
Attending the senate ceremony was a good experience for all of us. We had the chance to talk to veterans who attended the ceremony and pay our respects to them. Visiting the peace tower and the memorial chamber was very nice and it was the first time for most of us.