Candlelight tribute commemorates Canada’s fallen heroes

Hundreds of candles passed from veterans to youth inside the Canadian War Museum on Monday night, part of a special tradition during Veterans’ Week in Ottawa.

“I think of the Second World War and my father [when I’m here],” said Bill Black. “He was a D-Day dodger.”

Black was among those in attendance Monday night, passing on the legacy of remembrance and honouring our country’s fallen heroes and veterans. Black was 16 when he joined the Queen’s Own Rifles in the 50s, transferring to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1953 serving with the HMCS Cayuga in Korea. He then served in England until 1984. 

“It’s our only legacy. Events like this when we are gone perhaps it will carry on,” said the 89-year-old, who served in the military for many years.

This year marked the return to an in-person ceremony. For many young people, this was their first time participating.

“Passing the candle was really special to me. My great-great grandfather was in the army so I am proud during this activity and he would be proud of me doing it today too,” said Emma-Jane Michaud-Hamel, a cadet with Regiment de Hull 2644.

“It’s interesting seeing so many veterans from different groups within the military every time you took a candle you’d see a different person and a whole different story behind each one of them,” said Daniel Innes with Scouts Canada.

The ceremony included a rendition of In Flanders’ Fields by the Canadian Military Wives’ Choir and a moment of silence. As we continue to honour our veterans this week, Black says we must never forget the sacrifice of our Canadian soldiers.

“It’s important to remember what they did. They fought for freedom,” he said.

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