By Denis Armstrong, Army Public Affairs
Ottawa, Ontario — The members of the Ceremonial Guard of the Canadian Armed Forces wrap up their 61st season of Public Duties with the final Changing of the Guard ceremony on Saturday, August 24 at 10 a.m. on the lawns of Parliament Hill.
Since the season opened on June 23, the Ceremonial Guard has been busy performing the daily Changing of the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill and standing as sentries at Rideau Hall and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial, duties that are popular with the public and tourists alike.
What made the summer of 2019 exceptional for the Ceremonial Guard were the number of high-profile events critical to deepening the Canadian Army’s relationship with Canadians, beginning with “Fortissimo,” an epic musical blockbuster featuring military re-enactments, a bravura performance of the 1812 Overture complete with artillery fire and the bells of the Peace Tower, military bands from Canada and Latvia and the SkyHawks parachute team. Grand in scale, Fortissimo was once again one of the largest congregations of military musical might the capital region has ever seen, and very popular with spectators.
For the first time in 11 years, the Royal Air Force’s aerobatic team The Red Arrows thrilled the Changing of the Guard spectators with a breathtaking fly past on August 13 as part of their North American tour.
In addition to the Changing of the Guard ceremony, members of the Ceremonial Guard are frequently called upon to support official functions in and around the National Capital Region.
Emotions were high when the Ceremonial Guard quietly accompanied the Kandahar Cenotaph Rededication on August 17 at National Defence Headquarters (Carling) honouring the 158 Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, Foreign Affairs official Glyn Berry, Calgary Herald journalist Michelle Lang, and Marc Cyr, a civilian from a company under contract to Department National Defence, and 42 U.S. military personnel and one civilian who died while serving under Canadian command.
Finally, just days before their Final Guard Mount, the Ceremonial Guard paraded in the Change of Command ceremony where Lieutenant-General J.M. Lanthier passed the torch of command to Lieutenant-General W.D. Eyre on August 20.
Your last chance to see the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill is Saturday, August 24 at 10 a.m., and the posting of sentries at Rideau Hall on Saturday, August 24 between 9-11 a.m.