July 18: A Place of Honour in Victoria

When the Portraits of Honour National Tour visited Victoria, we had the privilege of being permitted to set-up at the cenotaph at the Legislative Buildings overlooking the stunning harbour. It was a true place of Honour for those depicted on the mural, beside a monument that recognized the sacrifice of their fallen brothers and sisters in uniform from previous conflicts. 

The ceremony was very formal, filled with tradition and executed with military precision. The Last Post played and Act of Remembrance read, a bell tolling for local fallen troopers Bdr. Myles Mansell and Lt. Andrew Nuttall and a flag lowered to half mast were all well known signs of respect and remembrance. The Book of Remembrance was also on display nearby in the rotunda of the legislative building, another incredible tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice throughout Canada's history.

Amid all the formalities of remembrance however, there were moments of emotion that showed just how deep the loss of these young lives resonates within communities, families and individuals. A military chaplain who had known the two local fallen was invited up to speak. As he led those assembled in a prayer for those who had been lost you could hear his voice quaver and crack thinking of the pain their families endure to this day. In speaking about the impact of loss on communities, he described how public opportunities for remembrance, coming together as a congregation to remember those that have been lost can be one of the keys to helping to heal. 

As the Portraits of Honour continue to move across our nation, we hope to bring this same honour, tribute and opportunity for healing to every community we visit and to every heart that looks into the eyes of a fallen hero on the mural.