November 11 is Remembrance Day here in Canada; this year I made it down to Victoria’s main cenotaph on the Legislature grounds for the 11AM ceremony. I’ve missed two years in the past twelve at this the downtown cenotaph – missed last year because of work. The ceremony downtown has become, in a small way, one of the touchpoints of my year.
Good sized crowd – it seems to be getting larger, slowly, instead of smaller. Lots of kids – I still remember going to the cenotaph every year with Mom, and it seems to have become a lifelong habit. Victoria is a Navy town, so lots of Navy personnel there, as well as representatives from all our local Reserve forces, the RCMP, and even a batch of Australians – apparently HMAS Sydney is visiting Esquimalt base.
Our local Infantry Reserve unit is part of the Canadian Scottish (Princess Mary’s) Regiment, so they always show up with pipe & drum band, kilts, and a really, really big Saint Bernard dog:
I hadn’t realized until this year that the Canadian Scottish have a Regimental cenotaph and their own regimental memorial service after the main combined 11AM service. I was walking to the bus today, heard pipes, and followed the sound to their own service:
Incredibly moving, as always, and pipes make my hair stand on end. After their own service, the Can Scots marched right through downtown Victoria, up one of the main streets in and out of town back to the Armoury, escorted by half a dozen motorcycle cops. It was a nice day for a walk, the pipes were still impressive, so I wandered along the sidewalk with them.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them”.