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Remembering Canada's fallen warriors

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In Winnipeg, at the hour of armistice, a piper clad in a tartan kilt played the traditional lament for fallen warriors.

At The Forks, Parks Canada reenactors in period costume joined officials to read the telegrams that saw Canada enter the First World War as a colony and emerge as a country.

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Monday marked the start of World War One from 1914 to 1918, known in history as the Great War.

In Ottawa, the prime minister joined dignitaries to mark Canada’s sacrifice over those four years in the muddy trenches of France and Belgium. Over 66,000 lost their lives and more than 170,000 were wounded, an enormous contribution from a population of less than 8 million in 1914 and a major marker for the country’s nationhood.

"Today we’re gathered here at the heart of Winnipeg and it’s meeting place that’s a perfect place to commemorate the start of the First World War," said Marilyn Peckett, Manitoba Field Unit Superintendent for Parks Canada.

Conservative MP from Elmwood and Transcona, Lawrence Toet, said the tribute to the long ago sacrifice is also a reminder of the devastation war continues to bring today in the Syria, the Middle East, Israel and Gaza and Ukraine.

"It’s a natural place for us to commemorate the beginning of this war and remember it and learn from the history of what occurred, and hopefully avoid going through that kind of situation ever again," Toet said.

Toet, whose parents immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands following the Second World War, said his parents faced the starvation caused by war in their generation.

"We need to have these kinds of events so we can bring it back to the forefront of people’s minds and make sure we’re remembering what happens when we do forget these kinds of events. I think with all the things happening in the world, having this kind of commemoration is more important than ever," Toet said.

History

Updated on Monday, August 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM CDT: Corrects end date of World War One

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