Call to serve, duty to remember

Nova Scotia Health Authority, community members offer ‘unending gratitude’ to veterans on Remembrance Day

A cold autumn wind whipped through the wind, the flags flapping furiously under grey skies. But just in time for this year's Remembrance Day ceremonies, the sun broke through the clouds.

Veterans’ Week events and Remembrance Day ceremonies took place across the province from Nov. 7-11, including at several Nova Scotia Health Authority facilities. A photo gallery below features images from Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg, St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish, the Northumberland Veterans Unit at Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital in Pictou and Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building at the QEII in Halifax.

A large group of Camp Hill residents, many bundled up in thick blankets, along with staff members and visitors, who had likely pulled out their winter coats for the first time during the change of seasons, came together around the towering Halifax cenotaph mid-morning Nov. 11, quietly laying wreaths at its base, as Canadians across the country did at monuments and memorials in their respective cities and towns.

“We are grateful to see so many people gathered here today, to reflect and to remember, the many contributions and sacrifices that have been made in order to make the peace and the freedom (that) we enjoy today as Canadians possible,” Heather White, director of Camp Hill Veterans’ services, told the crowd.

“Today, on this 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we come together as a community to remember those who served – in the First and Second World Wars, in the Korea War, the Afghanistan war, and the various conflicts and peacekeeping missions throughout the world,” White said.

“We pay tribute to the brave men and women, who over many years, have answered the call to serve; who have left their homes and families to fight for the ideals that we as Canadians hold dear,” she said. 

“We owe them all our deepest and unending gratitude.”

In addition to the Remembrance Day ceremony, Camp Hill Veterans’ Services also hosted its annual Candlelight Ceremony to kick off the 2016 Veterans’ Week on Nov. 7.

From politicians including Halifax MP Andy Fillmore and Department of Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine, to Grade 6 students from Le Marchant-St. Thomas School and young singers from the Halifax Boys Honour Choir, it was another poignant ceremony that culminated with those in attendance placing candles around the outdoor cenotaph, their flickering lights glowing on its stone walls along with the moonlight.