Remembrance Day Parade 2014

This year I had the opportunity to attend Victoria’s Annual Remembrance Day celebration. Having never gone to a public Remembrance Day event before, I really did not know what to expect. As I got downtown with my fellow Her Campus writers, I was greeted by local police officers, guarding the streets and leading people towards the legislative building where the celebration would ultimately take place. There was a sort of hustle and bustle atmosphere at first — cadets lined the docks preparing for their march down Government Street, members of the Reserves walked about, greeting people on the sidewalks and handing out event programs. However, despite the small chaos that is inevitable when large groups of people come together, the mood of the crowd changed very quickly. Families and members of the community lined the streets as the first wave of serving military members, as well as veterans, made their way down the block. The sound of bag pipes filled the air, along with the claps of hundreds as they paid their respects to those stepping forward to protect our country.

Slowly but surely, the last of the Naval Cadets marched past us, allowing the crowd to follow behind and gather around the cenotaph on the legislative grounds. As we stood together surrounding the cenotaph, which was guarded by 4 different members of Police and Military personnel, a sense of calm washed over the crowd. The canons boomed and we all hung our heads in a moment of silence for those who have lost their lives fighting for our great and beautiful country. It was peaceful, respectful, powerful and heart-warming, to be able to gather with hundreds of other people in my community to commemorate not only those who lost their lives, but those still fighting for our nation as well.

The ceremony ended with the laying of wreaths, each representing different groups in the Victoria community. As the parade members marched off, and the crowd began to move once again, I was overwhelmed with a great sense of peace. Knowing that I live in a safe place, in a country that prides itself on peacekeeping and protection, reminds me that I am very, very lucky. Remembering those lost and thanking those that serve and have served does not need to be left for only one day a year though. Each day in this beautiful country is a gift, so I encourage everyone to go out of their way to thank those in your community that protect you. Military members, police force, fireman, first responders; these are the people that spend their lives making sure you are safe, and for that we shall be forever grateful.