UTM staff and students gathered outside the Davis Building last Friday for the university’s annual Remembrance Day Ceremony.
“This is an important aspect of what our life is here in Canada,” UTM’s interim principal, Ulrich Krull, stated in his opening remarks to the audience, composed of hundreds of faculty and students, according to Krull.
“Think about November 11th, the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month. This was, in a sense, the signing of an armistice, the end of hostilities, in WWI,” said Krull. “The War killed probably the better part of 20 million people. Twenty million people injured, huge numbers, influencing our global perspective of what war was.”
Krull’s remarks were followed by a reading of “In Flanders Fields” by Geordi Frere, a member of the Erindale College Special Response Team.
The ceremony of laying the wreaths was performed next by Krull on behalf of the academics, Zaid Sameer from ECSpeRT on behalf of the students, and United Steelworkers representatives Art Birkenbergs and Windsor Chan on behalf of the staff.
Principal Krull called for two minutes of silence at 11 a.m., after which officers from UTM Police Services raised the flag to half-mast, concluding the ceremony.
During the two minutes of silence, an anonymous student approached the podium and stated that the war is not a current issue, adding that issues like world famine and cancer are what’s current.
The student was brought down from the podium shortly after he began speaking. The Medium was not able to identify their name.
The Remembrance Day Observance is an annual ceremony that takes place across all three campuses of the University of Toronto.