OTTAWA — Crowds of people have filled the square at Halifax’s Grand Parade to mark 100 years since the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War.
As the clock struck 11 a.m., the gun on nearby Citadel Hill fired the first of 22 shots.
The sombre crowd stood in near-silence as it reflected on the battles that ended a century ago, and those that have come since.
The Halifax gathering is one of many across the country, including the national ceremony in Ottawa which will be attended by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in place of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Trudeau is spending Remembrance Day weekend in France where he attended Armistice Day ceremonies in Paris today, marking the end of the “war to end all wars.”
Back in Ottawa, Governor General Julie Payette will attend the national ceremony alongside Sajjan, after returning from Belgium where she attended additional commemorative events.
Dominion carillonneur Andrea McCrady will play the bells in Parliament Hill at sunset as part of an initiative organized by the Royal Canadian Legion.
Bells will ring out as night falls in one place after another across the country, including at city halls and places of worship, on military bases and ships, and at ceremonies to honour veterans who served during the First World War.
McCrady will play “The Last Post” on the Peace Tower carillon, followed by striking the largest bell 100 times, at five-second intervals, which represents the moment in 1918 when bells across Europe tolled as the war came to an end.
The Canadian Press