On November 11, 2019, the Royal Canadian Air Force participated in an annual Remembrance Day ceremony held in front of the mausoleum in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, where Wing Commander William Barker, VC, is interred. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, spoke during the solemn commemoration of Wing Commander Barker and all our war dead. Here are his remarks.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today’s ceremony. I want to make special note of the presence of all our veterans and to welcome them.
You honour us with your presence
I am also pleased to see that so many young people have joined us here today.
You are also one of the most important reasons we gather on days like today so the torch of remembrance can be passed from our hands to yours.
One hundred and one years ago, the guns fell silent across the battlefields of Europe and the bells of peace rang out.
The First World War—“the Great War—“La Grande Guerre”—the so-called “war to end all wars”—was over.
At least 10 million soldiers, sailors and aviators had been killed and another 29 million were wounded, captured or missing. Millions of civilians had been killed or injured.
More than 62,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders gave their lives—and thousands more were wounded in mind and in body.
I think you will agree that those numbers are almost incomprehensible.
There is no greater sacrifice than to risk one’s life for another.
Today, we honor those…