Torontonians filled Exhibition Place on Saturday to honour veterans of the First and Second World Wars at the 96th annual Warriors' Day Parade.

This year's ceremony commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid.

For survivors of war who experienced the conflict first-hand, the ceremony was a reminder of how significant their efforts were.

When asked why it's important people march in the parade, 95-year-old Dieppe Raid veteran Harry Neill said it's because a lot of men gave their lives.

Neill spent six years overseas with an advanced team in the Canadian Army from 1939 to 1944.

Harry Neill Wolrd War 2 Veteran

Second World War Veteran Harry Neill looks on at the Warriors' Day Parade at Exhibition Place with a rifle in hand. (CBC News )


While his memories may be a little bit foggy now, Neill said he still remembers fighting in the war and exchanging enemy fire with Vickers machine guns. 

"It was just amazing, you know. Like that was reality. We see movies but he was there in real life," said his son-in-law, Jim Emmerson.

Hundreds of veterans marched in the annual parade established in 1921, and current serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces showed their appreciation. 

"It's good to come in contact with [veterans] and ask them about their stories...they give us their life experience about being in the military. I'm glad that they're here," said trooper Melissa Frangella.

Many of the veterans spent the day taking time to also reflect on the lives lost. 

The Dieppe Raid holds the record for the most amount of Canadian deaths in a single day, ultimately claiming the lives of more than 900 people.

"I lost a lot of good friends, I got hit myself...it wasn't all blood and guts, we had a lot of fun too," said veteran Hern Pike.

Warriors Day Parade Veterans

This year's ceremony commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the 75th Anniversary of the Dieppe Raid. (CBC News)


Despite the bittersweet memories Warriors' Day Parade brought up for veterans, some family members like Jennifer Emmerson, daughter Harry Neill said they were honoured.

"It's amazing to see the determination of these senior veterans to remember, the willingness to come out for their fellow comrades and people of arms that they served with. I'm extremely proud of my father, " she said.