Hundreds of people gather at Saskatoon mosque to remember Canada's veterans

For many Muslims in Canada, veterans are seen as honoured men and women who have helped keep Canada peaceful and democratic.

Friday marks the ninth anniversary of the event in Saskatoon

Colin Clay, a Korean War veteran, speaks to children at the Baitur Rahmat mosque in Saskatoon (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Muslims in Saskatoon held a Remembrance Day ceremony Friday recognizing veterans and giving back to those who have helped Canada remain safe and democratic.

The city's largest mosque in the city, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at's Baitur Rahmat, hosted several hundred men, women, and children, all intent on hearing the words of a Korean War veteran named Colin Clay.

This is the ninth anniversary of the event which is part of a national movement of Muslim remembrance. Clay has spoken at the mosque every year.

"We give thanks to those that served and those who died but we also have to look to the future because, as I say, war is not glorious; war is horrible," he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Mubarak Syed, the spokesperson for Saskatoon's Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at branch.

"We want to make sure that we are part of it and show our love, our respect and our care to men and women who offered ultimate sacrifices to bring this great country to us today that we so much cherish and honour," Syed said.

Prayers for peace

Many Muslims outside of Canada fought under British rule and the community remembers them in the same way other Canadians remember their ancestors. 

"Many of those families who are actually descendants of [Muslim veterans] have come to Canada to settle and they live in Canada now," said Syed.

People who worship at the Baitur Rahmat Mosque in Saskatoon honour Canada and Canadians year-round, including on Canada Day. (Morgan Modjeski/CBC News)

Friday is a Muslim holy day, attracting larger crowds including women and children, which is why organizers have chosen it as a day of remembrance.

"We want to make sure that more people are there to honour our veterans," said Syed.

Clay held court with several children during his visit. They asked about his medals and what the war was like.

The endless questions never seemed to tire the 87-year-old.

"Civilians and military people have to be passionate about world peace and we will never be satisfied until there is," he said.

with files from Saskatoon Morning