A change of venue and dreary weather did nothing to deter hundreds from attending Remembrance Day ceremonies in St. John’s this morning.
This year’s event was moved to the Sergeants’ and Warrant Officers’ Memorial at the base of Garrison Hill while the nearby National War Memorial undergoes a complete restoration, including installation of a tomb for an unknown soldier in time for next year.
The temporary site did offer advantages for attendees, however, with many taking up positions on the steep Garrison Hill, providing unimpeded views of speakers, those on parade, and wreath-laying.
And while the location was different this year, the messages remain timeless, with the emphasis on remembering past conflicts and those lost, with the ultimate goal of avoiding a repeat in the future.
Sadly, as noted by the Rev. Dr. Ian Wishart, that goal has yet to be attained.
“Today we are aware of warfare in Ukraine, in Gaza, in Israel, and those refugees fleeing from conflict seeking peaceful homelands and rest from war,” he said. “We remember those who serve us here at home. Let us pray for peace of the world, for wise resolution of conflict.”
It was at 11 a.m. on this date in 1918, that the guns fell silent as hostilities of the First World War came to an close, ending the four-year conflict that claimed millions of lives, including hundreds of Newfoundlanders in the cruel battle of Beaumont Hamel.
Numerous other Remembrance Day ceremonies were held around the province, across the country, and throughout the Commonwealth today.
Meanwhile Premier Andrew Furey marked Remembrance Day in his west coast district.
Today, and every day, we remember, honour, and reflect on the sacrifices so many have made – and continue to make – for the freedoms we value. It was my pleasure to be in my district this Remembrance Day to lay a wreath at the Deer Lake ceremony. #LestWeForget pic.twitter.com/sxnlpfylxi
— Premier of NL (@PremierofNL) November 11, 2023