A few residents of Rossland, and several in Trail, may awaken at 6:00 on Sunday, November 11th, to the haunting strains of bagpipes playing “When the Battle is Over.”
At that time and date, exactly one hundred years ago, the Allies and Germany signed the Armistice of Compiègne, which marked the end of the fighting on the Western Front, and ultimately led to the end of the First World War. Having been signed at 6:00 am Paris time, the Armistice came into effect at 11:00 am, the time when people now gather in remembrance of those who fought and died in that war and in many others since.
Members of the Trail Pipe Band have agreed to play at their own residences at 6:00 am, as will pipe band members in many other places. In larger centres, there will be a mass playing of the retreat march outside cathedrals and other locations at the same time. Whether to participate, or not, in the local 6:00 am celebration of the document that ended the war in 1918 is up to the individual piper, and one pipe band member in Rossland has indicated that he will not take part, out of consideration for his family and neighbours.
The Trail Pipe Band will gather at the Fortis building in Trail at 9:00 to prepare for the parade to the cenotaph. Later in the day, they will also play at the Rossland Legion.
As the sun goes down, whether we can see it or not, church bells across Canada will chime one hundred times in another recognition of the hundred years since the end of the First World War.