More than 4,000 attend Remembrance Day ceremony at RBC Convention Centre
There were people crowding the entrances to watch the service
As men and women in uniform stood still on stage at Winnipeg's RBC Convention Centre, Capt. Karyne Richard described a number of anniversaries for which the country will pause and remember on Wednesday.
"We thank you for joining us as we recognize our veterans for their unwavering service to Canada," Richard, the MC, said to a crowd that included Manitoba's Lt.-Gov. Janice Filmon and Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.
More than 4,000 people listened, some standing in the convention centre's entrances to be there.
The centennial of the Second World War was a focal point at the Veterans' Association's ceremony. Richard detailed Canada's contribution through numbers: More than 42,000 servicemen and women died in the Atlantic and Europe, she said. On top of that, 54,000 were wounded.
"We recognize that all of our veterans have given a part of themselves to this country. Some have given it all, laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we cherish deeply," she said.
A group of girl guides handed out programs before the service began and from the audience, they watched it.
Among them was Georgina Lapp, 5, who has attended the convention centre service for the past two years. She said she learned about the war by watching a movie about it at school.
"Some people were alive and they went back home when the war was done. And some people died, but some people didn't. And they went back home to their parents and their kids," she said.
"[Remembrance Day] is to keep our land safe and peace. And the people that died in the war."
Her sister, Evey, said she was there to commemorate the sacrifices of men and women who fought.
"To remember the people who died in the war to give us freedom," she said.
At Winnipeg's Bruce Park, Josh Gilbert was in the crowd to show respect for everyone that served, he said.
Gilbert served in the military for 17 years and that service brought him to Kosovo, the Golan Heights, Syria and Israel.
"For me, I'm proud to be a veteran," he said.
"[When] people thank me for the service I've done, it means everything."
Lisa Fourneaux was at the service and she is spending the day commemorating the freedom she has because of the sacrifice others made.
"I wanted to show respect for the freedoms we've been afforded," she said.
"We take them for granted every day and now is a good day to show them respect."
Every year Canadians gather on Nov. 11 to honour the sacrifice made by soldiers. The day is the anniversary of the end of First World War hostilities in 1918. Ceremonies often include poems, prayer and the sounding of the Last Post followed by two minutes of silence at 11 a.m.
Message from Premier Greg Selinger:
On Remembrance Day, we stop what we are doing to honour those who have risked their lives, and those who continue to do so, to keep us safe and protect our freedom.
We hear "lest we forget" so often this time of year, but it is a phrase we should remember every day; we can never forget the immense cost of our way of life, our democracy and our peace at home.
As we reflect in silence this year, also remember those who continue to fight for our freedom — the freedom to think, freedom to speak, freedom to love and freedom to choose.
On behalf of all Manitobans, I offer a profound thank you to all those who have served and to all those who continue to serve this nation with courage, honour and dignity.
We express our deepest respect and gratitude to you and your families, and we promise never to forget.