Article written by Master-Corporal Oh
Westmount, Quebec – 19 November 2018: November 4th this year started off with the calling out of the rack numbers of the weapons we took out of the bus, as we got dropped off in the city of Pointe-Claire for the start of our annual Remembrance Day parades. This year however marked the 100th year since the end of WWI, a sense of significance seemed to permeate the air and the actions of the soldiers. As the form-up with the legion, musicians, police, and cadets proceeded in the neighbourhood of Pointe-Claire, everyone including the RMR members seemed eager to start the march as the cold wind traveled sharply around our faces.
The parade in Pointe-Claire was marked with solemn prayers, speeches and laying of the wreaths. It was exhilarating to see the RMR conduct another honourable parade amongst the numerous audiences with poppies blanketing the jackets of the gathered crowd. As the parade ended with a success, we embarked on the bus back to the RMR for lunch before starting the second parade in Westmount.
Despite the heavy amount of grease from our juicy chicken lunch, we felt very fit to lead another parade in the afternoon. The soldier’s donned their tactical vests as per our standard in remembrance of those who fought. The Westmount parade went smoothly for the guards and the members of the cenotaph, as the parade was short yet filled with meaning. Marching back to the unit, the street of Saint-Catherine welcomed the RMR as we swung our arms with pride and respect for the fallen.
Once the Westmount parade had concluded, the RMR formed back up and held the last parade of the day, the “battalion review”. The parade was formed not only by those soldiers who had conducted two parades already, but by another 40 who had been conducting field operations while on exercise in Valcartier. They may have been weary from the weekend’s trials but they stood smartly for the inspection by the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel.
Corporal (Retired) Melcher was awarded the wound stripe certificate for injuries sustained in 1993 in former Yugoslavia. There were speeches and presentations that, in this humble soldier’s opinion, did great justice to the memory and sacrifice of those 1,192 soldiers that were lost in the Great War. Finally the parade concluded on a more positive note, with the promotion of two Captains, 2 Second-Lieutenants, and 4 Master-Corporals. As we put an end to this year’s Remembrance Day, we like to keep in mind that we will always remember the fallen that fought in the fields of France and Flanders.