This Saturday is November 11th and Remembrance Day. Below is info on the ceremony and parade happening in Vancouver.
This year marks 100 years since Vimy Ridge during the First World War and 78 years since the start of the World War II.
The Canadian contribution to both World Wars was immense…
World War I
Canada’s total casualties stood at the end of the war at 67,000 killed and 250,000 wounded, out of an expeditionary force of 620,000 people mobilized (39% of mobilized were casualties).[i]
Canadians were amongst the first gassed and the commander of the Van Doos described the Somme Valley as “if there is a hell, this is it.”
Canada’s population in 1914 was about 7.8 million people.
World War II
Canadian Forces deaths numbered about 45,000. Here is what one noted historian said about just one part of the contribution:
“Except for a brief period during the Rhineland battle, First Canadian Army was the smallest to serve under Eisenhower’s command. The Canadian component of the Allied armies never totaled much more than 185,000 of the 4 million Allied troops serving in Northwest Europe. It is, however, evident that the divisions of 2nd Canadian Corps played a role out of all proportion to their numbers. Their contribution to operations to secure the Channel ports and open the approaches to Antwerp, together with the part they played in the battles in the Rhineland, place them among the most heavily committed and sorely tried divisions in the Allied armies. By the end of 1944, 3rd Canadian Division had suffered the highest number of casualties in 21 Army Group, with 2nd Canadian Division ranking a close second. Among armoured divisions, 4th Canadian was at the top of the list, as was 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade among the independent tank brigades. Overall Canadian casualties were 20 per cent higher than in comparable British formations. This was a direct result of the much greater number of days that Canadian units were involved in close combat. The British infantry divisions that ranked third and fourth had suffered heavy losses in the attritional stages of the Normandy battle and had been placed in reserve to allow recovery. Neither 3rd nor 43rd British Infantry Divisions were involved in the kind of operations the Canadian infantry experienced in October 1944. Britain’s Guards Armoured Division and 8th Armoured Brigade were committed to action for much shorter periods than their counterparts in 2nd Canadian Corps)”
Remembrance Day Ceremony and Parade
In honour of our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of Canada, the City of Vancouver is holding its annual Remembrance Day ceremony and parade at Victory Square on Saturday, November 11.
Date and time
November 11 2017, 10:00 a.m.
Cenotaph at Victory Square, West Hastings Street at West Hastings Street and Cambie Street
- 10:00am: Performance by the Vancouver Bach Youth Choir and Sarabande
- 10:10am: Veterans, military marching units, and bands will be led to Victory Square by the Vancouver Flag Party for the cenotaph ceremony. Shortly afterward, there will be a combined performance by Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and the Regimental Pipes and Drums of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada.
- 11:00am: the Last Post will be sounded. Two Minutes of Silence, during which a 21-gun salute by the 15th Field Artillery Regiment will be heard from Portside Park. Lament and Rouse will follow. The Royal Canadian Air Force will conduct a fly-past moments later, weather permitting. The enduring In Flanders Fields will then be sung by the Bach Youth Choir and Sarabande and wreaths will be placed at the Cenotaph.
The Remembrance Day parade will begin once the ceremony finishes. Participants will march west along Hastings past the reviewing stand between Homer and Richards, turning right at Richards, east on Cordova, then south on Cambie.
The veterans’ section of the parade will march west along Hastings Street past the reviewing stand and disperse.