Montreal

Montrealers gather to mark Remembrance Day at Place du Canada, 75 years after D-Day

The annual Remembrance Day ceremony included a 21-gun salute and the laying of wreaths by veterans and government officials.

Annual ceremony included a 21-gun salute and for the first time, a naval whistle

Veterans march during Remembrance Day ceremonies Monday, November 11, 2019 in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

Montrealers gathered this morning at Place du Canada to pay their respects to all those who have fought for the country.
 
The annual Remembrance Day ceremony included a 21-gun salute and the laying of wreaths by veterans and government officials.
 
"It's very important, wearing the poppy to remember … to take a moment and reflect," said Anthony Bruce, a retired sergeant with the Canadian Grenadier Guards.

Anthony Bruce, a retired sergeant with the Canadian Grenadier Guards, said Remembrance Day is a very emotional time for veterans. (CBC)

He said the day is very emotional for veterans as they reflect on the lives of their brothers in arms and recall their own military service.
 
As the clock struck 11, a moment of silence was observed. A pair of military helicopters flew above the crowd gathered for the ceremony.
 
In addition to the army guns and air force helicopters, a traditional navy whistle, the bosun's call, was sounded — a first for a major Canadian Remembrance Day ceremony.
 
"The navy, being landlocked in these ceremonies, obviously we can't drive a ship up to the ceremony itself," said Lt. Patrick White, a naval officer with the HMCS Donnacona in Montreal. 
 
"We were very happy to find something that had an audio and visual effect that we could include in the ceremony."

Lt. Patrick White explains what the whistle means to veterans of the navy. 1:10

The bosun's call is used to "pipe the side" where a designated soldier whistles low for four seconds, high for four seconds and low again for four seconds to mark when a captain or admiral boards or disembarks a ship.
 
Members of the navy piped the side as dignitaries arrived and left Monday's ceremony.
 
"It just gives you the feeling that you are ready now for whatever task you may have to undertake," said navy veteran Charles O'Leary. 
 
"For me it's just a very, very special sound."
 
The guests of honour this year were Quebec Lt.-Gov. J. Michel Doyon and Brigadier-General M.A.J. Carignan.
 
Ceremonies were also held at the Outremont Park cenotaph and at the Baron de Hirsch Cemetery in Côte-des-Neiges. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society held a ceremony at the military cenotaph in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery.

Watch a replay of our livestream of the ceremony below:

With files from Jaela Bernstien

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