Memorial Day at U of T

The U of T celebrates Remembrance Day on November 11 in honor of fallen soldiers and those who continue to serve the Canadian military.

This year, U of T marked this day with virtual events along with a physically distant service at U of T’s St. George Campus (UTSG). The service was filmed in Hart House and livestreamed to the public.

This fateful day marks the end of World War I, when nations agreed on a ceasefire. Remembrance Day focuses on preserving the memories of fallen soldiers, rather than the spoils of war resulting from the Allied victory.

From 1921 to 1930, this day was known as Armistice Day and was observed on the Monday of the week of November 11 each year. It was not until 1931 that Remembrance Day was redesigned by the Canadian government, with its current name and unchanged date.

Ever since, Remembrance Day has been consistently observed over the years, with many educational institutions such as the U of T holding annual memorial ceremonies.

At the university’s St. The George campus deviated from the usual location at Soldiers’ Tower due to the ongoing construction of the Landmark Project — U of T’s plan to upgrade campus features, including the expansion of underground parking and greener, walkable areas. For this reason, along with Covid-19 restrictions, the memorial event was not open to general participation and was livestreamed instead.

This year, Nila Rajagopal, conductor of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, recited a reading of “In Flanders Field” – composed by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in May 1915. McCrae was a graduate of University College and the Faculty of Medicine.

Numerous wreaths were placed in the ceremony, each from different groups of participants. In particular, President of U of T Meric Gertler placed one for UTSG, while Vice President of U of T and Principal Wisdom Tettey placed one for Scarborough Campus (UTSC).

At the University of Toronto Mississauga, the ceremony was livestreamed on the university’s website. Principal Alexandra Gillespie gave a speech in front of the William G. Davis building, just like on Remembrance Day 2020. Members of the local community gathered virtually to attend this memorial event.

Wreaths were laid next to the flagpole in front of the building and flags were also lowered on half pole. In addition, students could pick up poppy sticks at various locations on campus, such as at Davis Food Court and Colman Commons.

For UTSC, no separate ceremony was held this year due to collection restrictions.

In return, Principal Wisdom Tettey attended the ceremony at UTSG on behalf of the UTSC community, and students at UTSC were invited to watch the livestream of the ceremony to show respect. Either way, an exhibition of wreaths was created in front of the Science Building at UTSC for memorial purposes.

Amid great difficulties following the Covid-19 pandemic, the U of T continues to hold the Remembrance Day ceremony on campus for students and staff to pay tribute to all those before us who gave their lives to protect Canada.

Associate News Editor (Volume 48) –

Larry is a sophomore majoring in accounting. He thinks writing is extremely powerful, it is an excellent medium for spreading messages and thus a phenomenal way of expressing oneself. Through his contributions to The medium, Larry hopes everyone can witness how fun and refreshing writing can be so they too can be inspired to write. When not studying or writing, you can find Larry listening to music on the stairs next to North Field, wondering what life’s next story would be like.

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