Montreal

Montreal Remembrance Day ceremony honours fallen troops

Two Royal Canadian Air Force helicopters conducted a low-altitude flyby, as the first of 21 cannon blasts marked the beginning of two minutes of silence.

Mayor Valérie Plante attended Place du Canada ceremony, laying ceremonial wreath

A member of the armed forces salutes during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal, Sunday. (Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Hundreds of veterans and civilians braved an early winter chill Sunday morning to attend Montreal's main Remembrance Day ceremony at Place du Canada.

Before the procession, ceremonial wreaths were placed at the cenotaph while the Royal Canadian Legion's military band played a rendition of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and Amazing Grace.

This year's ceremony had added significance. It marked the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.

Two Royal Canadian Air Force helicopters conducted a low-altitude flyby as the first of 21 cannon blasts signalled the beginning of two minutes of silence.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and federal Tourism Minister Melanie Joly were both on hand to lay ceremonial wreaths.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante places a wreath at the Place du Canada cenotaph during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal, Sunday. (Graham Hughes/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The veterans at the ceremony included 94-year-old Second World War veteran Frederick "Tex'' Dawson, who laid a wreath on the cenotaph on behalf of McGill University.

Dawson said he joined the front in the last three months of the conflict, where he served as an artillery soldier in France, Germany and Holland.

"You're too young to be afraid of anything,'' he said of his time in the army.

Dawson's strongest war memory is manning his gun when the announcement came over the loudspeaker that the conflict had ended.

"I ran in the barn where the fellows were sleeping and I said, 'The war is over! The war is over!' And of course they didn't believe me,'' he said.

Kenneth Ouellet, president of the legion's Quebec branch, recited the Act of Remembrance in English and French at the ceremony.

"At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them," he read. Eugene Motard recited the act in Mohawk.

Veterans then marched in a parade, which headed north on Metcalfe, east on Ste-Catherine Street, south on Beaver Hall Hill and west on Cathcart Street.

A Remembrance Day ceremony also took place at 11 a.m. at the Field of Honour in Pointe-Claire.
With files from The Canadian Press

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