Barbados joined 51 other nations of the Commonwealth yesterday in observing Remembrance Day, in a ceremony led by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, at the War Memorial in Heroes Square.
The past days of frequent rain gave way to sunshine for the annual tradition of paying homage to the war dead, with smartly parading military and para-military officers accompanied by persons in support services, all decked out in crisp uniforms and watched by sharply dressed officials, special invitees and Barbadians.
Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson and Prime Minister Freundel Stuart arrived in that order, followed by Sir Elliott, in the escort of police mounted on magnificent steeds.
Sit Elliott took the salute before cannons boomed, marking the beginning and end of two minutes of silence in remembrance of those who fought but are no longer here, as most of the officers lined up in formation. Some stood statuesque, heads bowed, around the War Memorial, which itself protrudes upwards to the heavens.
Sir Elliott led the way in placing floral tributes, chockfull of poppies, at the base of the cenotaph. He was followed by Prime Minister Stuart and Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley.
Chief of Staff of the Barbados Defence Force Colonel Alvin Quintyne, and Acting Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith then jointly laid wreaths. They were followed by members of the diplomatic corps.
Next was a service, after which Sir Elliott inspected a squadron of Barbados’ veterans, then departed in as stately a fashion as he had arrived, amid the mounted police.
The Royal Barbados Police Force Band, backed up by the Cadet Corps Band, then led the parading groups in a march past and salute to those departed, as represented in the cenotaph, to close proceedings.