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Four Great Travel-Worthy Events for Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day

Belgium – Menin Gate Memorial Ceremony
Since November eleventh, Armistice Day, is a public holiday in Belgium, there are a great number of people able to attend ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the end of World War 1.  One of the most prestigious ceremonies is a special church service at St. George’s Church preceding the famous Poppy Parade.  Attendance at this event has become so popular that invitation to the church ceremony is now available by ticket only.  After the service, everybody then joins the Poppy Parade, which begins at St. Martin’s Cathedral and leads to the Menin Gate Memorial of the Missing.  At the gate, there is a special version of a daily ceremony known as the Last Post Ceremony.  This ceremony is a tribute to the missing soldiers of World War 1, many of whom have their names listed on the gate.  Usually done as a daily routine at 8pm, on November 11, the ceremony takes place in the morning and has a much larger crowd than usual.  It has become such an event that the city of Ypres has had to take extra measures to accommodate the large crowd.  There are speeches and music followed by the laying of the wreaths, where members of the public may lay a family wreath in honor of fallen soldiers.  (http://www.greatwar.co.uk/events/ypres-salient-events-armistice-day.htm)

 

New York City – The Veteran’s Day Parade

The Veteran’s Day Parade in New York City is a huge 4 hour event.  Starting in 1929, the parade has since been a yearly tradition in New York.  It is the U.S.A.’s largest veteran’s day ceremony and one of the largest November 11th ceremonies in the entire world!  It is a nationally televised event with well over half a million spectators expected to attend with 25,000 people participating in the parade alone.  The parade exhibits representatives from each element of the American Military and Law Enforcement, many of whom display their weapons and vehicles.  In 2011, former Miss New York, Alyse Zwick, was a guest reporter covering the event and hosting interviews for FOX News. The 2012 theme will be “United We Stand”, a theme dedicated to encourage the nation to stand behind America’s veterans. This event also features a wreath laying ceremony at the Eternal Flame in Madison Square Park. (http://gonyc.about.com/od/autumninnewyork/a/veterans_day.htm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ottawa – National Ceremony of Remembrance at the National War Memorial

Every year Ottawa hosts the National Ceremony of Remembrance at the National War Memorial.  In this nationally televised event, starting at Cartier Square Drill Hall, a parade of Canadian Military and Law Enforment marches through the streets of Ottawa to the National War Memorial.  During the ceremony, speeches are followed by wreaths being placed on the Memorial by Canadian dignitaries including the Governor General and the Prime Minister.  A salute to the fallen soldiers is marked by the firing of artillery.  Members of the public place their poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which holds the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who died in France during World War I.  The Governor General also takes some time to speak with Silver Cross mothers and veterans.  The parade features units from all sections of the Canadian Military in full gear, military vehicles, and the R.C.M.P in shining red uniforms. (http://ottawastart.com/remembranceday.php)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London – Remembrance Sunday Ceremony at the Cenotaph

In England, Remembrance Day or “Poppy Day” is recognized on the eleventh of November.  However, the biggest ceremony takes place on the closest Sunday to the eleventh known as Remembrance Sunday.  A national ceremony takes place at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, where the Queen of England lays the first wreath and is followed by a countless number of royal and parliamentary wreath-layers.  This is one of the biggest and oldest Remembrance Day events, worldwide, and receives international viewership on the BBC.  A true sense of tradition is illustrated by the style of the event and traditional uniforms sported by the British Military.  (http://myenglishteachersblog2010.blogspot.ca/2010/11/poppy-day.html)

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