As I left the studio today on my way to the Cenotaph in Stoney Creek, I thought what an amazing day for November. The temperature was more like a fabulous October day, with the sun shinning bright and the warmth beaming on my face. There was a slight breeze in the air but, it was not crisp and stinging as in previous years. Today's temperature was refreshing and inspiring, to say the least. As I drove to the Cenotaph I thought to myself, will this be the year that many people come out to remember our veterans? We have had a great deal of loss within Canada the past couple of weeks and I feel everyone is thinking about our veterans more and more.Here in Hamilton we feel it even closer, as we mourn the loss of Cpl. Nathan Crillo. I hope our community comes out to support Nathan and all veterans who fight and protect our country. I have stopped trying to make sense of these cowdly acts and put my enegery towards enjoying all the amazing things we have in Canada; many of them that we can thank our veterans for.
As I pulled into the parking lot, I could see that there was a lot of people making their way to the proceedings and I remember thinking it is not usually this busy this early in the morning. I try to arrive a lot earlier than most, to capture the many different moments that unfold in front of me before it gets real busy. As I walked to the park I could see that the crowds had already started to form. The lawn was full and people were starting to stand across the street. I also noticed that there was a large number of students this year. Congratulations to all the schools and teachers that made the effort to bring their students out. As I stood next to a group of students, a veteran came along and asked which school they were from. He expressed how happy he was too see them come out to this special day! I smiled to myself, thinking how great it was that they made this particular veteran's day, by this small act of kindness and thanks. I looked around and seen many others in uniform talking to the students and I only hope that they too were as happy to see the students as that one particular veteran.
As the service started the people running the service commented how many people had come out and how happy they were with the turn out. This just reassured me that I was not being over optimistic but, it was truly the largest crowd to date! Many people, service clubs, schools and businesses layed a wreath in honour of a veteran or family member. I was proud to hear my local Rotary Club's name once again, as they layed a wreath for our club members.
Ever year I look forward to seeing the many young people that stand guard at the Cenotaph and admire their will and smart uniforms. I also look forward to hearing the Salvation Army play music that seems to be so loud! I always stand next to a speaker to try and capture that unique angle or moment.
I am glad I have the opportunity to attend a service so important and see so many other people coming out to remember and say thanks to our veterans and their families. If you were one of the many people that attended a service this year, THANK YOU and please keep coming! I hope you enjoy some of my photos of the day.