Now, to make things clear, I'm going to have to remind you that I happen to share an apartment with my 42 year old niece Carrie. Don't ask me how or why that happened, it just did. What happened yesterday is what always happens. We leave the apartment to where they're holding the ceremony: a schoolyard close to the Legion Hall conducting it. There used to be a branch of the Royal Canadian Legion a couple of blocks away but, well, Lynn is right about the declining membership. In any event, we always manage to get there to bear witness to a sort of religious service and military parade in front of a cenotaph placed on school grounds for the purpose. As things begin, we have said parade which consists of veterans, members of the Army and Sea Cadets, Boy Scouts and girl guides march in formation to a pipe band to pay their respects to fallen comrades.
At 10:55 in the morning, the Legionnaire who's master of ceremonies introduces the clergymen who'll be giving the calls to worship and the Memorial Cross (it used to be Silver Cross) mother who'll be laying one of the official wreathes. The first such call is followed by the national anthem. After a prayer of invocation by another clergymen, the Last Post is played. This is followed by two minutes of silence, followed by a lament (Amazing Grace on the pipes) and Reveille. One is expected to keep silent from the Last Post to Reveille. A third clergyman gives a prayer of remembrance followed by an Act of Remembrance (a stanza from In Flanders' Fields) by the leading cleric and we're led into Abide With Me by a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary (which is what Marian and Ursula belonged to). After this, they lay official wreaths by the cenotaph. These are laid by representatives of the federal, provincial and municipal governments and other such groups. Next, there's a benediction by a priest and a laying of public wreathes by people wishing to memorialize family members who didn't make it home from the war. This is followed by the Royal Anthem, a march past and the people attending retiring the poppies we pin to our jackets and such at the cenotaph. This is followed by a reception at the Legion Hall that lasts for an hour or so and that's about it.