News / Halifax

'They're still among us:' Last Post performance in Halifax commemorates unknown fallen WWI soldiers

At 8 p.m. on Thursday in Ypres, Belgium, the Last Post was played for the 30,000th time since 1928 at the Menin Gate.

In Halifax, the Cadets Canada Menin Gate Bugle Group played the song at the Grand Parade at the same time -- 3 p.m. Atlantic.

It was the only such performance in Canada on Thursday, performed in Belgium every day at 8 p.m. to commemorate the 54,897 World War I Commonwealth casualties whose bodies were never recovered, including 6,940 Canadians.

Chief curator of the army museum at Halifax Citadel, Ken Hynes, led the ceremony and reminded the few dozen people gathered that many Canadian soldiers who fought in World War I took their last steps on Canadian soil in Halifax.

"There are plenty of examples of sacred ground that exists in the fields of Europe," he said.

"We have sacred ground right here in our own country, in our own province, in our own city."

"There (are) so many soldiers that died and we don't know their names," said deputy mayor Lorelei Nicoll.

"But just as Ken said earlier, just because we don't know who they are, that's all the more reason to honour them. They're still among us."

Premier Stephen McNeil represented the province at a ceremony at the Menin Gate 15 months ago.

"It was an extraordinarily humbling experience when you realize how many people left this province ... really their last steps on Canadian soil we here in Nova Scotia," he said.

The Menin Gate Bugle Group is made up of cadets from across Canada between the ages of 12 and 18. They've been performing the Last Post as part of this year's Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, and Thursday's performance was their last.

More on