The 93rd annual National Day of Remembrance began this morning at 10 a.m. as delegates and representatives from regional services marched from the Essar Centre to the cenotaph on Queen Street for a wreath-laying ceremony.
Many in attendance, including the master of ceremonies, were surprised to find both Mayor Debbie Amaroso and MP Bryan Hayes absent from the event.
As a result, Sault MPP David Orazietti placed wreaths at the foot of the cenotaph on behalf of, not only the province, but the city and the nation as well.
SooToday.com contacted Mayor Amaroso at her home following the conclusion of today's ceremonies.
She told us that she misread the event's start time and understood the beginning of the wreath-laying ceremony to be 10:40 a.m.
She then passed this misinformation along to MP Bryan Hayes.
Both Hayes and Mayor Amaroso were able to catch up with the procession and take part in the memorial ceremony at the Essar Centre as planned.
"It was purely a communication breakdown," Mayor Amaroso told us. "We sincerely apologize for the misunderstanding and I take full responsibility."
Mayor Amaroso delivered a touching address at the memorial, as did this year's guest speaker, Comrade Sharon McKeown, vice-president of the Ontario Command.
The ceremony also included a fantastic music presentation by the St. Francis School Choir.
This year's Silver Cross Mother was Donna Crosson, mother of Sgt. John Wayne Faught who fell in the line of duty in Afghanistan on January 16, 2010.
A statement issued today by David Orazietti on the occasion of Remembrance Day follows.
************************** SAULT STE. MARIE - David Orazietti, MPP participated in today’s services and made the following Remembrance Day statement.
“Each year on November 11th, we take time to pay tribute to the generations of heroic men and women who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the freedoms that we cherish in Canada.
We are truly fortunate to live in Sault Ste. Marie and in this great country.
Remembrance day also provides us with the opportunity to pause and reflect on the profound sacrifices made by our veterans, as well as those soldiers, peacekeepers and volunteers who are currently serving on missions in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world.
We are all deeply humbled by their courage and selflessness, and we are forever grateful and indebted to them,” said Orazietti.