Making the most out of living in the Canadian Capital I headed out to see the Remembrance Day Ceremony. Even though we only arrived about half an hour early, it wasn’t too busy – I think the snow put people off a bit. We arrived just before all the different regiments marched past en route to the cenotaph so managed to get a good view before they got too far away. Somehow managed to get a spot reasonably near the front of the crowds so even though our view was limited, at least we could see something! The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa were closest to us who I had never heard of but I loved their uniform; They were sporting Tartan AND Leopard Print!
I go ever so tingly at anything vaguely patriotic and this was the same even though I was not even in my own country. Unlike at sports matches that I have visited, everyone took part in singing Oh Canada. I know there is no reason for me to know the words but I still felt rude not singing, adding in the fact that I forgot to wear my Poppy I felt very unsupportive. However I looked at the itinerary and God Save the Queen was included so I hoped I could redeem myself then. I heard the music starting up and I was ready to go. Then they started singing in French. I was not happy. Luckily they left a couple of lines in English that I could sing along to.
Technical difficulties ruined the mood at times, especially with the awful noise that came out for the beginning of the national anthem, but apart from that the ceremony was very moving. I especially loved all the drumming in unison and the occasional cannon shot.
After standing in the snow for over an hour or so I could barely feel anything and was feeling sorry for myself. Then I remembered what I was standing there for, the people we were remembering. There I was, stood wrapped up in all my layers and Winter Boots and I felt like such a silly, little girl complaining. Throughout the two minute silence I tried to put myself in the shoes of those who fought and the feeling is truly unfathomable. I have been stressing about deadlines and panicking about the cold and today has completely put everything back into perspective.
Remember those who have fallen and remember their sacrifice.