'Ultimate sacrifice': Veterans honoured at P.E.I. Remembrance Day ceremony
People filled the sidewalks and streets around the cenotaph in Charlottetown for Saturday's annual Remembrance Day ceremony to honour veterans and military members.
Veterans paraded from Charlottetown's Royal Canadian Legion on Pownal Street, across Kent Street and south on Great George to the cenotaph.
The service was broadcast directly to a van and a bus where there were veterans in wheelchairs and those who were unable to march.
"Being a veteran myself, I can assure you that these veterans would much rather be able to stand out here on parade, shoulder to shoulder with their fellow veterans and those in uniform you see in front of you," said Dan Miller, a member of 201 Confederation Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association who emceed the event.
Invitation to meet veterans at legion
With 32 currently active peacekeeping operations around the world, "the face of the veteran in recent decades is changing as each year a smaller number of veterans from the world wars remain among us," said Miller.
Miller invited people to the legion after the service to meet veterans, legion members and others in uniform.
"We understand that today it is important to recognize all the men and women who have given service in the name of their country and served with such commitment and selfless dedication for the benefit of others around the world," he said.
Members of The Royal Canadian Legion, HMCS Queen Charlotte, The Prince Edward Island Regiment, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Charlottetown Police Service, #23 Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps, #148 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, the Knights of Columbus, and the Prince Island Regimental Band were among those who attended the ceremony.
Honouring those killed
Lieutenant-Governor Antoinette Perry laid the the first wreath, followed by many others.
Tannie Arseneault laid the Memorial Cross Wreath in memory of her husband WO Keith Arsenault who was killed in an airplane crash during training exercises in Alaska in 1989. Arsenault was a physician's assistant who served in the Canadian Forces Medical Services Branch and was stationed at CFB Petawawa.
Major Tom Hamilton, Padre for the 5th Canadian Division Atlantic Canada described what Canadian soldiers have gone through in past conflicts.
"They made the ultimate sacrifice," said Hamilton.
"Let us remember the thousands of military members who have served our country. Let us remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. And let us remember those who never returned to Canada and those who did suffering the physical and mental scars of war. Let us remember them. Lest we forget," he said.
Following the service, people were invited to the annual Remembrance Day open house at the Daniel J. MacDonald building by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the Battle of Passchendaele.
The military museum at the Queen Charlotte Armoury was open to the public until 4 p.m. as well. The service concluded with the royal anthem.
The ceremony was livestreamed on the CBC P.E.I. Facebook page.
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