Local residents sat patiently in the lobby of the Scarborough Civic Centre on Sunday. Their chatter became drowned out under the rhythmic pounding of boots on the floor. A parade of war veterans, Knights of Columbus, Freemasons and young Air Cadets, all in full uniform surrounded the seating area and took possession of the upper levels. The Toronto Police Men’s Chorus sang as the speakers took their seats in front of the crowd.
On Sunday Nov. 4 at 2 p.m., the city of Toronto and the Scarborough Civic Centre hosted a Remembrance Day service. Ward 36 Counc. Gary Crawford MCed the event and spoke to the significance it has for all Canadians.
“They have given their lives so that we may be free,” Crawford said. “We also recognize the impact the act of service has on the families of those who have served and who continue to serve. From the Silver Cross Mother, who represents the collective grief of parents to the children who grew up not knowing a father or mother. Their loss is not forgotten.”
Students were called to read poems, the Girl Guides sang hymns and a trumpeter filled the hall with the tune of The Last Post, all the while those in uniform remained at attention. The service came to a close with a final prayer and the building began to empty.
Only a handful of parents taking photos of their children in their cadet uniforms stuck around for the free coffee and tea. Most left immediately, but for that hour and a half Scarborough residents acknowledged the debt these soldiers are owed – one which can never be repaid.