Saturday, 20 Apr 2024

Peterborough gathers in strong numbers to pay tribute at Remembrance Day Service

Hundreds gathered in Confederation Square in Peterborough on Sunday morning to witness the Remembrance Day Service that marked the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Honorary colonel Ken Armstrong of the Hastings Prince Edward Regiment didn’t know what to expect with wintry weather and cooler conditions but was taken aback by the support shown by the public.

“Every time we hit November it’s always cold but look at the crowd we got here,” said Armstrong.  “More than 2,000 people in the cold, cold weather with the snow on the ground. I think it’s a reflection of the people and I think this is the largest crowd we’ve had in some time.”

The Remembrance Day Parade started the ceremony, as it started from the Peterborough Armoury and wound its way past city hall and down George Street before making its way back to Confederation Square.

Parade marshal Mike Plumpton believes the centennial anniversary of the armistice that was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, that ended the First World War had a lot to do with the big crowd and the occasion brought out more people than usual.

“(That) war gave us our freedom,” said Plumpton, a member of the Royal Canadian Legion. “It gave us our freedom of speech and freedom of choice.”

The ceremony brought politicians and dignitaries together with veterans and current members of the armed forces who laid wreaths along the foot of the Citizen’s War Memorial.

Mayor-elect Diane Therrien addressed the crowd and said Remembrance Day isn’t a national holiday but instead it’s a day for mourning and a ceremony of remembering.

“We pay tribute today to those who fell in the cause of freedom and we are thankful to those who served and returned to us,” said Therrien.  “The struggle for a just and equal world continues and will continue until people of good will in all countries bring about a lasting peace.”

The names of more than 10,000 veterans from Peterborough and County are inscribed on the Wall of Honour that surrounds the Citizen’s War Memorial. The names there include veterans who fought in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean Conflict.

Following the ceremony, families placed their poppies on wreaths to remember their loved ones and the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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