Changes are in the wind surrounding the annual November 11th Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony in Carleton Place.

The organizing committee, spearheaded by members of the local Legion Branch #192 in Carleton Place met recently to discuss this years event, and since this year will mark the 100th Anniversary of Armistice, have included a few changes to mark this monumental occasion. 

On November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m. – The eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, “the war to end all wars” came to an end. The guns finally fell silent, bringing to a close four long years of unspeakable war. Close to 61,000 Canadians were killed during this Great War and another 172,000 were wounded. Those who paid the supreme sacrifice included 47 of our own from here in Carleton Place.

This year, The Royal Canadian Legion will assist in commemorating this historical 100th centenary, through the introduction of a Bells of Peace Initiative to honour through Remembrance, the Armistice of 1918. The general concept derives from the use of bells as a celebratory announcement that the war had ended. This was common at the end of both WW1 and WW11. The Legion's intent is to have every bell in every community across Canada ring in unison or independently (within each community) 100 times at sunset on November 11th, 2018 to signify the 100th anniversary of the WW1 Armistice.

The Bells of Peace celebration will begin by a bagpiper playing on the East coast either in Cape Spear or St. John's and end with a piper playing on Vancouver Island, possibly in Sooke, B.C. 

In Carleton Place, the organizing committee plans on participating in the Bells of Peace initiative through the involvement of Churches and businesses in our community ringing their Bells 100 times in unison at sunset.

Rather than having a piper begin this initiative in Carleton Place, it will begin at 5 p.m. with the sounds of sirens from four Ocean Wave Fire Trucks and local O.P.P. cruisers. They will be strategically positioned throughout Carleton Place and the sirens will sound for 30 seconds prior to the various bells being rung 100 times.

An informal gathering will take place at the local Cenotaph at 4:45 p.m. of any and all residents related to anyone from Carleton Place who served during WW1. They, as well as all residents of Carleton Place are invited to this informal gathering, and are asked to bring any type of hand bell with them to ring as well at this special ceremony. Members of our local Royal Canadian Sea Cadets #211 Lanark and Navy League Cadet Corps #181 Carlplace will also participate at this informal gathering by ringing their ships bell 100 times during the gathering at the Cenotaph.
Those participating in the ringing of bells in Carleton Place will be Zion Memorial United Church, St. James Anglican Church, and the Old Post Office
To celebrate this 100th Centenary of Armistice, changes will also be taking place to the annual November 11th Remembrance Day Ceremony and parade. Both the parade and Cenotaph Ceremony will begin earlier than normal in order to facilitate the first gun salute to fire at 11:00 a.m. For it was at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th of 1918 that WW1 came to an end.

The parade will form up at 10:15 on Mill Street at the Town Hall with the parade starting at 10:30 a.m. and the ceremony at the Cenotaph beginning at 10:45 a.m. Once again members of various local church choirs along with members of the Carleton Place Town Singers will participate in the ceremony along with the Carleton Place and District Community Band. 

Plans are also in the works for the ceremony this year to include a fly past at 11 a.m. of a bi-plane. It is to not only commemorate the 100th anniversary of Armistice, but also being planned as a tribute to local hero Arthur Roy Brown, who is credited with shooting down the infamous “Red Baron”, Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, 100 years ago on April 21, 1918.

More information regarding the Carleton Place parade and ceremony will be forthcoming as further planning takes place.