NEWS

Remembrance Day draws bigger crowds, higher emotions in 2014

11/11/2014 09:09 EST | Updated 01/11/2015 05:59 EST
Remembrance Day services and commemorations today come amid a rising tide of concern for Canada's armed services and the memory of those who have protected the country in the past. 

The main Remembrance Day event in Ottawa will be held at the National War Memorial, where Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed nearly three weeks ago, two days after a man in Quebec drove his car into Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, killing him.

Ottawa police said there will be an increased police presence Tuesday around the memorial where Cirillo was gunned down the morning of Oct. 22, and off-duty officers will be able to wear their uniforms to the ceremony and carry their sidearms.

In a year when poppy sales are breaking records, emotions are running higher than usual on Nov. 11.

Wayne Powell, the Canadian Legion's district poppy chair for Toronto, told CBC News the legion has been stretched to keep up with demand for poppies, worn as a symbol of remembrance in Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

About 80,000 people are expected to attend the Ottawa ceremony, the largest crowd since 1939, when it reached 100,000. Typically, about 35,000 people turn out each year, the CBC's Hannah Thibedeau reported

Princess Anne was scheduled to join Gov. Gen. David Johnston at the National War Memorial, along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair was scheduled to attend the ceremony in Halifax.

Others expected at the Ottawa event include:

-     Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Anne's husband.

-     Laureen Harper, the prime minister's wife.

-     Sharon Johnston, wife of the Governor General.

-     Senate Speaker Noël Kinsella.

-     Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino.

-     Gen. Thomas Lawson, chief of defence staff.

The commemoration will include the familiar rituals of the piper's lament, Last Post, the artillery salute and the recitation of the Act of Remembrance taken from Laurence Binyon's poem, For the Fallen:

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old …."

There will be a formal rededication of the memorial itself, to add the dates of the Afghanistan mission and the South African War.

There is also a new inscription: "In Service to Canada — Au service du Canada." The government says the inscription is intended to recognize all who serve, be it in the past, present or future.

Since Cirillo's death, people have travelled in droves to the war memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at its foot. They have carpeted the steps with bouquets, poppies, photos, poems, written tributes, stuffed animals, a can or two of beer, even a battered hockey stick.

The formal ceremony, including dwindling numbers of Second World War veterans and ranks of serving soldiers, sailors and air personnel, will likely only increase interest, especially since temperatures are forecast to be warmer than usual Tuesday.

On mobile? Follow our liveblog here

MORE:cbcNews