Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day Once Again

Crowds of people.
Muddy fields.
A clear sky.
Smoke and thunder.
Little red flowers.

It is November 11th, Remembrance Day in Canada. I was speaking to one of my professors today and missed the minute of silence by accident. First time that's happened me as far as I can remember.

This year, Montreal's Remembrance Day ceremony was moved to the McGill University campus, which is pretty much a park in the middle of the downtown core. A perfect place to hold the ceremony.

As I exited the Arts Building (my home away from home last semester), I became part of the crowd of people gathered on the steps to watch the events unfold. I couldn't hear the speeches from where I was, but I had a perfect view of the cannons. Somewhere in the distance, bagpipes were playing. 4 105mm Howitzers were set up for the twenty-one gun salute and filled the campus air with thick white smoke. The deafening thunderous roars of the cannons made the ground tremble, windows rattle, and broke the monotony of what was an otherwise normal business day. After each shot, a car alarm went off. Not entirely unexpected, though it did take away from the gravity of the event. It was strange seeing and hearing the Howitzers in action. I grew up playing with green army men (among other toys), and their little plastic cannons were some of my favourite pieces.

Next year, I'll be sure to bring my camera with me.

I hope you all wore your poppies.

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