Thursday, November 6, 2008

Queen recognizes Vigil's 'deep personal resonance'

LONDON — Dudley M. Jasper, Murdo Mcauley, Alfred Bembridge. These were the some of the names, redolent of an earlier era, projected onto Canada House last night as the Queen, Prince Philip, the Canadian High Commissioner to Britain and war veterans stood and watched from a darkened Trafalgar Square.

The names are part of the project Vigil 1914-1919, the brainchild of actor R.H. Thomson (who was on hand for the opening ceremony in London) and lighting designer Martin Conboy. For the next week, the names of the 68,000 Canadian soldiers killed in the First World War will be projected as night falls, first onto Canada House in London and then on major public buildings in Halifax, Fredericton, Toronto, Regina and Edmonton, and on the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

Speaking at Canada House just before the names began appearing, the Queen said, "Through the Internet - technology undreamt of by those who served in the First World War - the deep personal resonance of this imaginative transatlantic act of remembering will reach across time and space to be shared by many people in Canada, in Britain and around the world as we join together in looking to the future by reminding ourselves of how the past can inform the present."

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