CFB Shilo taking part in Armistice artillery salute
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This article was published 02/11/2018 (1607 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
CFB SHILO — A Shilo soldier is looking to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the end of the First World War with an around-the-world artillery salute.
CFB Shilo will be one of many Royal Regiments from across the Commonwealth participating in the Commonwealth Artillery: Remembrance Day 2018.
“It’s to remember those that were lost,” Maj. Trevor Michelsen said. “It would be a tragedy to forget their sacrifice.”
The Royal Regiments encompass all military artillery groups in the Commonwealth.
The event will first start in New Zealand, followed by Australia and the United Kingdom, ending in Canada.
Participating regiments will link a live video feed to Facebook starting on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. in Canada (Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. New Zealand time).
The blank round fired signifying the end of the First World War will be live streamed for viewers, progressing across participating countries in different time zones as the day passes.
Canada is the last country to fire in the salute, with the final shot taking place in Victoria.
Michelsen was struck by the idea to have an around-the-world artillery salute from participating Commonwealth countries in honour of the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice a few months ago.
“I thought it would be cool if we got the Commonwealth together to get a co-ordination of the shooting,” Michelsen said.
Bouncing the idea off his British counterpart, Michelsen said, word soon got out about the planned tribute of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice on Remembrance Day, with regiments from around the world eager to participate.
“They said, ‘that sounds wonderful, let’s do it,’” Michelsen said.
On Remembrance Day at 11 a.m., artillery will fire a blank shot to mark the minute of silence. Some services will also fire a second shell to end the silence.
For some, the shots are representative of the first and last rounds of the First World War.
Remembering the centennial is important because it was everyday people who responded to Canada’s call to arms, and a large number of them never made it home, Michelsen said.
“I’d like to think that if I had a friend or relative that was lost, people would try and take the time to remember them because no one wanted to go there and die. They wanted to go and do their bit and come back home afterwards,” Michelsen said.
The event will serve to remember those lost to conflict across history, from the Boer War, to the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and more recent conflicts like Afghanistan.
Each of the participating Royal Regiments in Canada have a unique history tying them to the First World War and gunner military history.
Michelsen cited the regiment based in Lethbridge, Alta., as an example, with the gunners of that group believed to have fired the last round of the First World War.
At Shilo, the ceremony honouring the 100th anniversary of armistice on Remembrance Day will take place inside the Multi-Purpose Training Facility building, with the gun located outside.
Canada does a good job of preserving the memories of soldiers that have been lost, Michelsen said, and everyone has ties to someone who has been lost in conflict.
“Even if Canadians may not know the person individually, they still do a great job in coming together to remember those that are the fallen,” Michelsen said.
For those interested in viewing the live video on Nov. 11, it can be found at facebook.com/pg/canadianartillery/events/.
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