Remembrance Day ceremonies have begun in at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
(Remembrance Day wreathes to be laid are seen prior to the start of Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Thursday, November 11, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)
Tens of thousands thronged around the towering National War Memorial in the nation's capital to mark Remembrance Day with the time-honoured rituals of mourning for the country's military dead.
The November ritual opened with O Canada. A military bugler then sent the haunting notes of The Last Post echoing over the silent throng.
As the great bell of the Peace Tower marked 11 a.m. and its flag sank to half-mast, a gun boomed out and the crowd paused for a two-minute silence.
A flight of four CF-18 fighters roared overhead, with one pulling up and away to leave the "Missing Man Formation."
The Act of Remembrance was read out: "They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old ..."
Brig.-Gen. Karl McLean, the chaplain general of the Forces, read a poem written by a girl whose father died in Afghanistan. It ended: "Pro patria, Daddy."
As he spoke, the artillery crashed out a 21-gun salute, leaving a cloud of gun smoke to drift slowly in the light breeze.
Gov. Gen. David Johnston, who was presiding over his first Remembrance Day ceremony, placed the first wreath at the foot of the bronze and granite monument. Environment Minister John Baird, standing in for Prime Minister Stephen Harper who is at the G20 Summit in Korea, laid a wreath on behalf of the government.
Mabel Girouard of Bathurst, N.B., placed a wreath as the Silver Cross Mother, representing all grieving parents. Her son, Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard, was killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in November 2006.
Representatives of veterans groups and diplomats filed up to place their wreaths until the base of the monument was awash in green and red.
Veterans with medals from three wars, watched in the crisp, bright sunlight as the rituals played out. Grizzled oldsters in blazers with medals from 1939-45 and the Korean War stood with young men and women in uniform wearing awards from Afghanistan.
Onlookers filled the surrounding sidewalks and spilled over the lawns of the East Block on Parliament Hill. Teens in baggy jeans stood with businessmen in overcoats, blue-coiffed matrons and young couples with toddlers.
As the ceremony wound down, pipes and drums played Amazing Grace.
— The Canadian Press
Governor General of Canada David Johnston greets an army cadet prior to Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Thursday, November 11, 2010. (Pawel Dwulit/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy lays flowers on The Tomb of Unknown Soldier at the annual Armistace day service, that is held in honour of those who have lost their lives during times of war, before heading to the G20 summit in Seoul on board of the new presidential plane. (Photo by Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images)
PARIS—A solemn ceremony at Paris' Grand Mosque has been held to honour the memory of Muslims who fought for France in World War I.
Defense Minister Herve Morin and Veterans Affairs Minister Hubert Falco took part in Thursday's ceremony, one of several official events marking the 92nd anniversary of the end of World War I.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy also revived the eternal flame on the tomb of the unknown soldier, beneath the Paris' Arc de Triomphe. Some 3,000 people turned out to watch the ceremony.
About 1.4 million people were killed or went missing in France during WWI, including many Muslims from France's colonies in North Africa.
This Remembrance Day, a two minutes of silence appeared on the British music charts.
A song, entitled 2 Minute Silence, containing no music or sound whatsoever was submitted into the mid-week Top 20 by the Royal British Legion, according to the Guardian. The song is even for sale on iTunes and has a video featuring British veterans and celebrities like Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and Bryan Ferry, as well as British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"Rather than record a song, we felt the U.K. public would recognize the poignancy of silence and its clear association with remembrance," Chris Simpkins, director general of the Royal British Legion, told the Guardian.
2 Minute Silence is attempting to knock Only Girl (In the World) by Rihanna off the top of the British charts.
Canadian country superstars including Michelle Wright and Terri Clark came together during Canadian Country Music Week in September to record a song for Canadian troops released in time for Remembrance Day.
Standing Strong and True (For Tomorrow) was a joint project between Barry Stecyk, Fabian Dawson, the Department of National Defence, EMI Music Canada, Open Road Reocrdings and CMT Canada.
All proceeds from the single will go to the Military Families Fund, which provides immediate assistance to military families in need, and Boomer's Legacy, a private charity which was created in honour of Corp. Andrew "Boomer" Eykelenboom, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006.
The video for the song is embedded below. The single is for sale on iTunes and other online retaillers.
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