Hundreds gathered at a Remembrance ceremony at Toronto Police Service headquarters to remember those who have served and fallen in service of Canada.
Among them were Consts. Nicole Bailey and Phillip Sinclair, who served in Afghanistan as part of the International Policing Operations Mission and with the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve (CAFR).
The officers, who spent nine months in Afghanistan in 2010-12, joined fellow members who have served on peacekeeping and training missions and war veterans at this year’s Remembrance Day service, marking the 95th anniversary of the first Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
“Serving overseas in a hostile environment gives you an appreciation of the dangers that are out there,” said Sinclair, assigned to 31 Division.
“Remembrance Day is also significant for me in that we are not only paying tribute to veterans but also soldiers who died recently in Afghanistan.”
For Nicole Bailey, this was the first time she attended the event at police headquarters.
“I live in East York, so I attend the ceremony there every year,” said Bailey, who was a CAFR member for four years and a corporal with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
“It’s important that we remember those who paid the ultimate price with their lives.”
Serving overseas in a hostile environment gives you an appreciation of the dangers that are out there
Retired S/Sgt. Gord Barrett and ex-Constable Andy Anderson paid tribute to family member and close friend Frederick Topham, by laying a wreath in his honour. Topham was Barrett’s great-great uncle and Anderson’s platoon Sergeant in the First Canadian Parachute Battalion. They later reunited when they became Toronto Police Service members.
A medical orderly who parachuted with his battalion into a strongly defended area east of the Rhine during World War II, Topham was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry. He passed away in 1974.
For the second straight year, the Jarvis Collegiate Choir sang the national anthem and a medley of songs.
A group of 20 Brazilian police officers, currently visiting the city, attended the ceremony.
“This was a great experience,” said Captain Rodrigo Campos of the Brasilia Service.
“This is something we will all remember.”
Two years ago, Canada’s ambassador Jamal Khokhar hosted a Remembrance Day ceremony in Brasilia at a granite cenotaph outside the embassy’s main entrance. The 2.5 metre monument is the only cenotaph at any Canadian embassy in the world.
Brazil was the only Latin American country to have joined the Allies in World War II and to have fought in Italy where it lost 467 soldiers.
TPS members were also involved in other Remembrance Day events at home and abroad.
13 Division members took party in the annual Earlscourt Branch Royal Canadian Legion sunrise service at Prospect Cemetery’s Veterans Plot while Marine Unit Const. Mike Byers of the and 14 Division Det. Tyrone Hilton marked Remembrance Day in Herat, Afghanistan where they are stationed.