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The Importance of Paying Your Respect

Heroes Remember

The Importance of Paying Your Respect

I was away this year on November 11th otherwise I had planned on going down to the cenotaph in Ottawa which would have been a good experience considering it had come on the heels of attacks there a few weeks prior but I had a chance several days after, I was downtown with my son who had just spent the night with his cub scout group in a museum, they had a sleepover, the Museum of Canadian History. So I picked him up about eight o’clock in the morning in Gatineau and we drove through Ottawa on the way back and we drove right downtown and I said, “Tommy, let’s stop downtown.” The cenotaph had just been reopened prior to November 11th. So I pulled over on the side street and parked at a no parking area, no stopping but it’s a Sunday morning. So we parked and I had a couple of poppies in my car so I grabbed the poppies and we went around the corner and he was in his beaver uniform and we went up to the cenotaph and it’s about 8:30 in the morning and there’s already a couple of people that were there and one guy in his jogging outfit and an older woman who was there and the cenotaph is still covered in flowers and poppies from two days prior and so we took our poppies and we put them on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and I saluted and Tommy saluted in his uniform and I said this is important to come and do and pay our respects and so it’s an important part of my life as well remembering that and I do reflect every November 11th and I think I have been part of the parades at the cenotaph in some form since I was maybe ten years old. Standing at a war memorial with my father would have been in the seventies when the fellows marching on parade would have been maybe in their fifties or sixties, World War Two Veterans, Korean Veterans, World War One Veterans but nowadays there are friends of mine who are on parade who are considered Veterans which is just, you know, just an odd concept and when we go and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown or any other cenotaph, there’s people I know who are killed in combat. I have faces of friends and people I had known personally who were killed in Afghanistan and who never came home from other missions. You know accidents that occurred while in the military, people who have taken their own lives so they are the people that I remember.

Mr. Palmers shares a sincere moment with his son as they salute and honour the fallen at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider memorial in Ottawa.

Phil Palmer

Mr. Phil Palmer was born October 16, 1969 in Calgary, Alberta. Mr. Palmer’s desire for the military started at a very young age as he always knew someday he would join. After graduating from high school, Mr. Palmer immediately enlisted in the military. Mr. Palmer joined the infantry with the Royal Canadian Regiment, was a member of the Airborne Regiment as a Paratrooper 3 Commando and later transferred to the Intelligence Operations as an Intelligence Operator. Over the course of 26 years, Mr. Palmer deployed to areas of Somalia, Bosnia and two deployments to Afghanistan. Mr. Palmer discharged from the military and now resides in Ottawa with his wife and family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
December 9, 2014
Person Interviewed:
Phil Palmer
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

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