With the early morning sun at their backs, and a slight breeze to soothe, scores of Guyanese turned out in their numbers yesterday to remember the contributions of the fallen heroes of the two World Wars. Every second Sunday in November, nations around the world recognize the millions of men and women who played their part in the historical events that in many ways shaped the current global landscape.
It was no different in Guyana, when Head of State Donald Ramotar, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, members of his cabinet, Opposition Leader David Granger, several foreign mission representatives and citizens, came out to lay wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph; a monument erected in honour of those lost souls.
Following the usual grand parade of the country’s uniformed ranks, the State’s public figures as well as military men and women among others flanked the Cenotaph, which sits at the centre of Georgetown’s major roundabout at the head of Main Street outside the Bank of Guyana.
The country’s Commander-in-Chief led the traditional wreath-laying ceremony, while senior functionaries and members of the diplomatic corps followed. Numerous senior citizens; some of whom came walking or pushed in wheel chairs, were also decked out in their medals and other military garb. The seniors of the Guyana Veterans Legion Association took their place among the neatly dressed uniformed men and women and braved the morning sun.
By the time the two minutes of silence was over; with the signaled opening and closing gun shots and prayers said, the convergence marched to New Market Street for the customary Presidential salute. The morning’s event concluded with a retreat at the Legionnaires Hall.
Remembrance Sunday for the English and its colonies, some former, is a day “to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts”. The poppy flower is the official symbol of this event.
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