On the first Sunday of May each year, Canada and the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) pay tribute to those lost at sea during the longest campaign of the Second World War.
The Naval Reserve plays an important role in this commemoration, as it is the face of the RCN in many Canadian cities from coast to coast in Canada.
All 24 divisions of the Naval Reserve were involved at different levels in the Battle of the Atlantic ceremonies. In Ottawa, Victoria and Halifax, divisions supported and participated in the city’s great parades.
Moreover, it is important to emphasize creativity and involvement of divisions in the influence of this important commemoration. Several divisions of the Naval Reserve hold mess dinners and invite members of the community to attend. These events not only help educate stakeholders about the important and influential role the RCN played during the Second World War, but also about the role the RCN continues to play today by conducting operations in Canadian waters and supporting Canada’s objectives around the world.
Other units, such as Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Radisson, held their ceremony in a unique context. The Naval Reserve Division in Trois-Rivières held their parade in the city of Shawinigan, highlighting the 70th anniversary of the loss of HMCS Shawinigan during the Battle of the Atlantic. Another example of the creativity of the divisions was the proclamation, in a collaboration between local authorities and HMCS Cabot, of Battle of the Atlantic Week in Newfoundland.
These achievements, combined with the participation of divisions in the commemoration parades across Canada, contribute greatly to ensuring that Canadians remember the sacrifices of military conflicts in the past.
Image: Canadian Navy