Remembrance Ceremony Held to Honor Those Who Gave All
Service members from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, the British Army and the Commonwealth joined together at the Djibouti New European Cemetery in observance of Remembrance Day to honor the sacrifices made by military men and women both past and present.
Remembrance Day, formerly Armistice Day, is celebrated on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was a day originally set aside to commemorate the day on which hostilities ceased on the Western front during World War I. Today, Remembrance Day has evolved into a time to reflect on the sacrifices of all service members who have lost their lives in the line of duty, as well as those who currently serve.
"Today we continue this tradition as we not only commemorate those who have died in past conflicts, but we also think of our military members presently serving on active operations in various parts of the world," said U.S. Navy Capt. Gerald Hutchinson, CJTF-HOA chaplain.
The Djibouti New European Cemetery is now home to 13 members of the British Commonwealth forces who lost their lives during conflict, including nine from the United Kingdom, one from Australia and two from Canada, one of which was a U.S. citizen.
Quoting an excerpt from Laurence Binyon's poem "For the fallen," British Army Col. Matt Straker (Late LD) took the time to recognize those who gave all in defense of their country.
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
We will remember them."
At 10:59 a.m. precisely the bugler sounded "last post", which was followed by two minutes of silence before the sounding of the "Rouse". Wreaths were then laid to the sound of Col. James Clark, CJTF-HOA communications director, playing "The Flowers of the Forest", a traditional Scottish lament, on the bagpipes.
Then, in one final prayer, Hutchinson offered these words -
"Now may God grant to the living: grace; to the departed: rest; and to all people: peace and harmony."