Manulife displays over 11,800 Canadian flags to remember the fallen at their global headquarters in Toronto. Each flag represents ten members of the Canadian Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives during the Canadian wartime and peacekeeping missions.
Planted on November 5, the flags will remain on display for the public until sundown on November 11.
“It’s a beautiful tribute which has now become greatly anticipated each year,” says Peter Wilkinson, SVP, Regulatory and Public Affairs at Manulife. “When pedestrians approach the Manulife headquarters and see the flag display their voices quiet, their pace slows. Many people stop to take pictures.”
The idea for the tribute comes from Lisa Thomson, wife of Warren Thomson, CIO and Chairman of Global Wealth and Asset Management. She had noted that John Hancock, subsidiary for Manulife in the U.S. had been sponsoring the Memorial Day Flag garden planting on Boston Common since 2009. This event plants 37,000 flags that honour the fallen Massachusetts service members who gave their lives since the Revolutionary War.
Celebrating the fourth annual Remembering the Fallen ceremony, the event offers the opportunity for people to gather together on the front lawn to remember and pay respect to those who fought to defend our freedom and democracy.
Wilkinson says that many employees at Manulife share personal and moving stories about why they are remembering the fallen. This year, commemorating 100 years since the end of World War 1.
“Remembrance Day touches many of our colleagues and their loved ones so it has a very special meaning for us. We want people to experience a beautiful, heartfelt ceremony that reminds them of the incredible sacrifices made by Canadians who fought and died to defend the values and rights we benefit from today,” says Wilkinson.