The 11th of November is Remembrance Day – national holiday for Canada honoring the participants of the two world wars. That’s why our day began with the ceremony in the National War Memorial.
The minute of silence was announced in the sunny warm morning at 10 a.m. People were absolutely calm. . I was impressed by their unity and dedication while singing the national anthem “O Canada”. It was followed by the march of the troops of Canadian Royal Mount Police and soldiers in British royal uniform. The corps of cadets and the children chorus took part too. The message from the Honorable Prime Minister Stephen Harper was spoken out loudly and warmly accepted by the applauding audience. The tradition of this holiday is to wear small artificial red poppies as a symbol of the slogan “Lest we forget”, so everyone had them on his or her chest. Three bombardiers thundering in the blue sky were a big surprise. The ceremony ended with the opening the memorial for the public to come up and lay their poppies on the monument. Afterwards we discovered also the wreaths all around put by different governmental and non-governmental institutions as well as a number of embassies including Ukrainian one. The celebration itself created an impression of enormous importance of this date for the Canadian nation. The veterans were honored respectfully and thankfully. The organizers tried to retrieve the moral aspect of the war period.
The second part of the day was dedicated to the preparation of the “Model Ukraine Conference”. The group of selected chairpersons met Borys Gengalo – a big friend of CUPP – to discuss the next day’s tasks. We discussed the issues on introduction of the conference, presentation of the speakers, timing the debates and some other collateral points. It was a useful experience which gave us an opportunity to hold such a serious official event.
The 11th of November was a very busy day. At the same time it had a symbolical aspect. We joined Canadians to be proud of their heroes. And we were ready to represent our own country at the coming international conference.