as part of the 1914 – 1918 Vigil project, starting at sunset November 4th through to sunrise November 11th, a vigil will commemorate the 68,000 Canadians who lost their lives in WWI (from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the Canadian Merchant Navy and the Canadian Army Medical Corps) by projecting their names over the week of nights.
It starts at sunset Tuesday in London, moving with nightfall to Halifax, Fredericton, Ottawa, Toronto, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton.
The vigil will take place at :
- In London, England, at Canada House, Trafalgar Square.
- In Halifax, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church.
- In Fredericton, in Alumni Hall at the University of New Brunswick.
- In Ottawa, at the National War Memorial.
- In Toronto, in Nathan Phillips Square.
- In Regina, at the Saskatchewan Legislature.
- In Edmonton, at the Alberta Legislature.
It’s been 90 years since that war finished and almost all those who fought it in are gone, which makes it even more import to remember.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
By John McCrae, written 1915 by Canadian army physician John McCrae.
Update Nov 6th 2008 : I saw (via BBC) that one of the five remaining British veterans of World War I, Sydney Lucas passed away on November 4th, 2008, at the age of 108. Sydney Maurice Lucas was born in Leicester on 21 September 1900. He attributed his long life to a moderate consumption of alcohol.
Note : John Henry Foster Babcock (born July 23, 1900, Frontenac County, Ontario) is the last known surviving veteran of the Canadian military to have served in the First World War. Babcock first attempted to join the army at the age of fifteen, but was turned down and sent to work in Halifax until he was placed in the Young Soldiers Battalion in August 1917. Babcock was then transferred to Britain, where he continued his training until the end of the war.