Honour Canadians' sacrifices in WWI: Gov. Gen.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is seen with a poppy at the National War Monument in Ottawa. (QMI...

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is seen with a poppy at the National War Monument in Ottawa. (QMI Agency Files)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:04 PM ET

The start of the First World War was marked in the capital Monday with a commemorative ceremony at the National War Memorial.

Retired RCMP Staff Sgt. Garth Hampson of Blackburn Hamlet keeps a button belonging to his father, L/Cpl Sid Hampson, who was with the 10th Battalion, close to his chest.

"He didn't talk a lot" about serving from 1915 to 1919, Hampson said. "They were all young. My dad was only 22."


British troops advance during the battle of the Somme in this 1916 handout picture. This picture is part of a previously unpublished set of World War One (WWI) images from a private collection. The pictures offer an unusual view of varied and contrasting aspects of the conflict, from high tech artillery to mobile pigeon lofts, and from officers partying in their headquarters to the grim reality of life and death in the trenches. The year 2014 marks the centenary of the start of the war. (REUTERS/Archive of Modern Conflict London/Handout via REUTERS)

Click here for more unseen photos of the First World War

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on hand for a wreath-laying ceremony.

Governor General David Johnston said the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War "reminds us that peace is never a once-and-for-all achievement, but rather requires our constant care and attention."

In a statement issued Monday, Johnston said "the First World War was not, in fact, the war to end all wars," and that when war broke out in Europe in August 1914, many people expected the conflict to be over by Christmas.

The anniversary, he said, gives us an opportunity to honour the sacrifices made by more than 425,000 Canadians who served overseas between 1914 and 1918.

"Their service contributed to the outcome of the war and to Canada's emergence as an independent nation," Johnston said.

The results of a poll released at the end of last month showed that 40% of Canadians have no idea what role Canada played in the First World War. Even worse, 8% of those respondents said they don't think Canada took part at all.

And just 54% of respondents were of aware of the fact that Aug. 4 marks the beginning of the First World War.


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