Arriving on site at approximately 9:40 a.m., I was the first in line in my designated area and stood proudly holding the IODE Canada wreath, waiting with the other representatives of organizations to participate in the somber service.
Joan Drummond, Canadian War Veteran and member of IODE Laurentian was in attendance, seated with the veterans, to lay the wreath on behalf of IODE Ottawa President Jo Brodie.
The motorcade of dignitaries included Prime Minister Steven Harper and Mrs. Laureen Harper, Their Excellencies The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston and the Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother 2013-2014, Mrs. Niki Psiharis, of Montreal, QC. Mrs. Psiharis presented a wreath on behalf of mothers who have lost children in the military service of their nation. Her son, Sergeant Chris Karigiannis, was killed along with two fellow soldiers when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device on 20 June 2007, outside Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was a member of the 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry based out of Edmonton, AB.
A silent crowd stood attentive during the Order of Service for the Last Post, First and Second Gun Salutes, Act of Remembrance and a 21-Gun Salute… fly-over of two planes and prayers given for those who served.
Once the Vice-Regal party and dignitaries had placed their wreaths at the base of the War Memorial, individuals and groups representing organizations were invited to place their wreaths. I was in the first group at the one corner of the memorial to go forward to lay the wreath. The IODE Canada wreath can be easily seen on the top step on the 1939-1945 wall of the memorial.
It was a humbling experience for me to attend this special ceremony and I thank the Board for allowing me to represent the National Chapter in Ottawa.
Lest we forget…”
E. Anne Mason
President IODE Canada