Friday, 7 November 2008

Transatlantic Vigil

Photo: Toronto Star
Commuters in Canada's largest city paused for a moment of reflection and remembrance. A high-tech electronic tribute to the 68,000 Canadians who died in the First World War is being projected onto public buildings including City Hall here in Toronto. The name of each of the fallen is projected onto a building in large font for eight seconds before fading into a list of smaller font names for twenty-five seconds. It will take more than 90 hours to project the names of each of the fallen.

This transatlantic vigil started in London with the H.M. the Queen in attendance. As darkness fell the Last Post was played by a lone bugler and the Queen paid tribute saying "Long may we remember the multitude of Canadians, and indeed all of those who laid down their lives to defend the lives of others."

This dusk to dawn tribute marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War and continues until Remembrance Day (also called Armistice Day) next Tuesday. The tribute spread westward from London to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Fredericton, New Brunswick then on to Ottawa, Toronto, Regina and Edmonton.

In London's Trafalgar Square there was absolute silence as the names of the war dead scrolled down very slowly and people paused to reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.