Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunset Ceremony

In conjunction with the graduation and commissioning ceremonies, Royal Military College holds a Sunset Ceremony on the Thursday night between the two events.

The crowd fills the stands in the parade square as the sun begins its descent in the western sky.

RMC Sandhurst Military Skills Team demonstrated the rappelling skills, among many others they've learned and used in competition against military academies in other countries such as Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the UK and West Point in the US. They are the proud World Champions for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

The Naval Gun Run was first used toward the end of the 19th century and into the 20th as a means to supply the army with artillery support. The guns were removed from their fixed mountings on naval ships and transferred to shore, where naval crews fought alongside the army troops.

Old Eighteen refers to the first 18 cadets who entered RMC in 1876. Tradition dictates that first year cadets are required to memorize their names. The Old Eighteen Historic Drill Team demonstrated the daily training as first learned over 130 years ago.

Shortly afterward, the Old Eighteen were attacked by the faux enemy.

We lost one of our best.

Ready, aim... fire!

They had their share of casualties too.

Our guys charged in and put an end to this war once and for all.

I'll be back with Part Two on Sunday.


BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Wow. What a show!

Unspoken said...

I know there had to be some tears for you?

Unspoken said...

OOPS. Didn't mean to put a question mark! Meant an exclamation point!

Dawning Inspiration said...

Oh wow Hilary - what awesome pics!!

Sueann said...

Amazing pictures! What pride you must feel!! So exciting!

Zuzana said...

Your images play like a motion picture.
The first one is breath taking...
Sorry for my long absence, I have been away from blogging working on a scientific paper. It has now been submitted, thus I can now catch up wit your lovely posts.;)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Incredible pictures from what was surely a wonderful evening!

Shammickite said...

What a terrific way to spend the evening. I have always been impressed with Military demonstrations. As a child in UK, we always watched the Royal Tournament on TV, and once when I was on vacation in London, we saw it live, complete with Naval Gun Run, Storming the castle etc etc, It was just after the Falklands war, so there was a lot of emotion and patriotism in the air. Lots of loud bangs and fire and smoke too, great stuff! Your super action pictures bring it all back to me.

Cricket said...

Once more, congratulations to you and your son. Who exactly is the "faux enemy" supposed to be? Their garb means nothing to me....

I am probably demonstrating an ignorance of Canadian history here. At least I know the capital is Ottawa and can probably name most of the provinces.

You're taking me into an area of supreme musical ignorance as well... I guess I'd have to say something symphonic, with lots of drums or tympani? I'd be more precise but I know jack about classical music, and most of what I do know I learned from Bugs Bunny, not at conservatory.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

Hilary - you are such an amazing photographer!!! These photos are stunning!!! They should be used by the Canadian Tourist Board or some such. Bravo!

Leah J. Utas said...

Magnificent photos.

messymimi said...

Fascinating reenactment. Must be even more impressive live and in person.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

all great, and the sunshine and flag is like a postcard for Canada---I have been past the RMC many many times on trips to Kingston and I love to have seen all this history and tradition to help me understand the place better----one tradition you may know is that the RMC and Queens U play hockey on the Kingston harbor (assuming it is frozen enough) using 100 year old rules and equipment

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Hilary: Wonderful captures of the military and all the activities.

Daryl said...

What fun .. I bet these guys really love this playing at war stuff ... I love the first shot .. it gave me a lump in the throat sort of feeling

ellen abbott said...

How cool!

Maggie May said...

A post with a difference this time.
Brilliant pictures.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

CiCi said...

What a great evening of demonstrations and you got the pictures just right.

Anonymous said...

Terrific,Hilary. Story and pictures. One day I must get numberoneandonly son to show me how I can post photos that big.

Anonymous said...

Great re-enactment photos.... bring on part 2! :) The Bach

Rosaria Williams said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful ceremony to illustrate the skills and traditions of the military sciences. How proud the families must have felt during this ceremony. Amazing!

Clowncar said...

that does look like fun. except for that guy falling. ouch!

what does it say about me that that is my favorite picture of the bunch?

Suldog said...


(That's shorthand for what I always say - Love Your Photos.)

Looks like a fine and fun time was had by all, even those 'killed'. I especially like the enemy who is falling to his death with something of a grin on his face.

Brian Miller said...

hilary, these are amazing shots...that first one is breathtaking..i bet this was amazing to watch as

Tabor said...

War and death. Such drama. Yet, it is so real sometimes.

Sandra said...

This is all so interesting, Hilary. I enjoyed the little bit of history of the Old Eighteen, and as usual the pictures are great.

Kat said...

That first shot is OUTSTANDING!!!! WOW!!!!!
That is quite the demonstration they put on. Very cool. :)

Karen said...

That's so cool! Makes you feel more proud of son and country. Thanks for those great photos!

Hilary said...

* Kristin, it was a lot of fun. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Amy, no tears here.. Jeffrey wasn't part of this show. He sat with us. ;)

* Thanks very much, SD. :)

* SueAnn, it was a great performance by all. The school puts this event on every year. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Zuzana, good to see you back in blog circulation. Thanks always for your encouraging words. You know they mean a lot to me. :)

* Thanks very much, KC. We sure did have fun. :)

* Thank you, Shammie. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I'm pleased that it helped to bring back a fond memory as well. :)

* Cricket, Bugs Bunny works for me. ;) Honestly, I'm not sure who the enemy was supposed to be. I saw this same event two years ago and the battle which was reenacted at that time was the War of 1812. If they said who we were to be fighting this year, I missed it. I suspect it was a generic enemy. ;) You're not doing too badly if you know most of our provinces. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Bonnie, you're too sweet. Thanks so much for your very kind words. :)

* Thank you, Leah. :)

* Thanks kindly, Messymimi. It absolutely was. :)

* Thank you, Gary. I didn't know that about RMC and Queens. That would be a cool game to watch. Another reenactment, in a way. Thanks for the info and for your kind words. :)

* Thanks very much, Fishing Guy. I'm glad you liked them :)

Hilary said...

* Daryl, thanks. They seemed to have fun. To think I never wanted my kidlets to play with guns... I'm glad you liked the photos. :)

* Thanks kindly, Ellen. :)

* Thanks very much, Maggie. Much appreciated. :)

* Thanks so much, TehcnoBabe. That means a lot to me. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

* Thank you, Moannie. It took me a long time to get up the nerve to change my blog so that I could post larger photos so I know what that's like. I hope numberoneandonlyson will help you with that soon. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Bach. Part two coming up soonish.. on Sunday. :)

* Thank you kindly, Lakeviewer. It was quite a kick to see some of the skills that our sons and daughters have learned. They sure do teach them well at RMC. Thanks for the kind words. :)

* Thanks, Clowncar. I don't know what it says about you but I know that I was pleased to capture that shot.. so whatever it says about you, it might be similar for me. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

* Suldog, YMTK (you're much too kind). ;)You and Clowncar seemed to gravitate to the same photo. Must be a guy thing. ;) Thanks always for your kind comments. :)

* Thanks very much, Brian. I'm glad you like the post. It was indeed great to watch. They put on a fine show. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Tabor, yes. Unfortunately it's very real for these guys.. or will be over the next several years. But in this case, it was pure drama.. and a bit of comedy. Thanks for the visit. :)

* Thanks kindly, Sandra. RMC has an incredibly interesting history, for sure. It was great fun to watch their demonstrations. Thanks for stopping by. :)

* Thanks very much, Kat. I'm glad you liked it. It was a fine time for sure. :)

* Thank you, Karen. I'm always very proud of both. :)

Pseudo said...

Wow. What great action shots.

LadyFi said...

What a marvellous ending to a superb day!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Wow, they really went all out for that demonstration! VERY cool.

Butternut Squash said...

Fantastic. Almost like being there. What drama.

Steve Gravano said...

Awesome photos, you captured all the action perfectly. Thanks for sharing your sense of pride.

lime said...

thanks for sharing a tradition that looks like it has some real meaning but also some bits of whimsy. what a neat balance.

Land of shimp said...

I particularly like the absurdly large fake mustache on one of the re-enactors.

"Don't shoot until you see his over abundant follicles!" *Blammo* "Tis a far, far better thing I have done today...than the day I first skipped shaving. I might have eluded the fateful bullet, but my lip was weighing me down."

Fun :-)

Slamdunk said...

Fantastic pictures. We have enjoyed the sunset parade ceremony that is held in Washington DC a few times--it never gets old.

Paul C said...

You capture the colour, spectacle, and honour of the guards.

Anita said...

Awesome and striking photos! Makes me yearn to see some exhibitions this summer.

photowannabe said...

Hilary, as always your photos are wonderful and I love the action you captured. the flag shot is a picture postcard.
I can't wait for part 2.

Mage said...

What fun. :) and of course, your shots capture the action perfectly.

Bossy Betty said...

Wow--such ceremony AND drama!

~JarieLyn~ said...

Your photos are very dramatic. I love all of the action you captured. How exciting to see such an amazing show.

I feel your pride. :)

Russell said...

Most interesting! That battle looks pretty fierce!

I could almost hear the gunfire as I scrolled through the images!

Very impressive!

Dianne said...

the first shot is amazing

Hilary said...

• PHST thanks very much. I'm glad you like them. :)

•LadyFi, thank you. It truly was enjoyable. :)

• Joanna, they put a lot of work into that evening. It's always great. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Butternut Squash, thanks kindly. I'm happy to have you along. :)

• Steve, thank you so much. I'm happy to share and I'm glad that you enjoyed it. :)

• Lime, thank you. Yes, it was a fine balance. Their pride was evident but they were enjoying the end of the school year and were happy for the grads. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Shimp, you have the craziest, most enjoyable imagination. You crack me up. Thanks for that. :)

• Slamdunk, thank you kindly. I have attended two of these Sunset Ceremonies and this is likely my last, but I sure did enjoy them both very much. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Paul, thank you so much. Such kind words. :)

• Anita, thanks very much. I hope you do manage a few. Summer's a great season for that sort of thing. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thank you, Sue. That means a lot to me. I won't keep you waiting too long at all now. :)

• Maggie, thanks. Very much appreciated. :)

• Betty, that's the military for you. ;) Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very much, JarieLyn. I'm so glad you enjoyed the photos. Much appreciated. :)

• Russell, thank you. It was a fun show from beginning to end. In part two, you can almost hear the fireworks too. ;)

• Thanks very much, Dianne. I'm glad you like it. :)

Cheryl Kohan said...

I really enjoyed reading this post, Hilary. A glimpse into an event that we would otherwise never know about so that makes it really special.

Sandhurst...isn't that where Prince Charles and his sons (and probably all the Royal men) go for part of their education? What an honor to be able to see the Sandhurst presentation!

Hilary said...

Thanks so much, Cheryl. I so appreciate your very kind words. This link explains the Sandhurst competition which takes place at West Point. Thank so much for your always kind and supportive comments. :)

Indrani said...

Such dramatic captures. Must have been a great experience watching in real.

Hilary said...

• Thanks, Cheryl. I'm sure they are thrilled with their accomplishments. Thanks for the return visit. :)

• Thanks, Indrani. It truly was. :)