Applause echoed off the buildings surrounding Gore Park Sunday as thousands came out to pay their respects to Canada's Veterans.

"I like seeing this kind of crowd," said Bill Eisan, who fought in both the Second World War and the Korean War.

"It makes you feel better when you're thinking about all your buddies ... all those fellows that aren't with us anymore."

Representatives from Hamilton Police, EMS and Fire as well as politicians, members of the Aboriginal community and the North Wall Riders Association were all present to lay wreaths on the Gore Park Cenotaph.

A large number of children were there too — be it members of the Hamilton Children's Choir or groups of kids that stood and watched quietly, poppies pinned to their lapels.

Jim Lawson, who served in the Second World War, told CBC Hamilton that it's wonderful to see so many young people at a Remembrance Day ceremony in 2012.

Lawson's daughter is a teacher, so he gets to know some of her students. They "mostly know about war from the movies," but still show a deep respect for veterans, he said.

"Their first question is always 'how many did you kill?'" he said with a laugh.

Lawson says his mind always drifts back to his dead friends at this time of year.

"When I married this fellow, it took a long time to find out what some of his stories were," said Lawson's wife, Glen. "Because, like most veterans, they don't talk about it very much."

She has a great uncle who died in the war and is buried in Flanders Field.

"I always find this service very moving," she said.

Rev. Bruce Lacillade led the service, and told the crowd that the deadly force used by soldiers is sometimes necessary to protect freedom.

"Some may think Remembrance Day glorifies war. It does not," he said.

"We come here to honour those who gave their lives. Those who gave their future so that we could have a future."

He said that people must remember that "membership in the human family" has its price.

"But if this country is worth dying for in times of war, then it's also worth living for in times of peace."

For a collection of photos from the ceremony, visit the CBC Hamilton Facebook page here.