President John Evans Atta Mills yesterday joined a large number of dignitaries including senior serving and retired military officers, members of the diplomatic corps and traditional leaders at the Christianborg War Cemetery at Osu in Accra, to observe this year’s Remembrance Day service in memory of the heroes who died in the two world wars.
The solemn ceremony is observed globally on the 11th day of the 11th month of each year to commemorate the 1918 Armistice that ended World War I.
As part of the ceremony some 30 of Ghana’s surviving world war veterans, dressed in their colonial military uniforms, marched into position. The knell sounded and the siren blew at 11am, while the Binyon verses were read before the last post sounded in addition to a two-minute silence observed by the gathering in honour of the war heroes.
In 1918, the Armistice became effective at 11am on November 11, when the guns fell silent on the western front in France and Belgium, ending four years of hostilities.
Ghana, then the Gold Coast, being part of the British Empire, contributed troops to fight in the wars.
After World War II, the Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day to remember those who were killed in both world wars.
In recognition of the sacrifices of the heroes who contributed to global peace, President Mills laid the first wreath on behalf of the government and people of Ghana at the cemetery where some 416 Ghanaian world war soldiers were buried.
The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Nicholas Wescot laid one on behalf of the Commonwealth and allied countries, while Jean Pierre Gbipki Benessan, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana, laid another on behalf of the diplomatic community.