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Poignant ceremony held to honour Queen's death (9 photos)

Queen Elizabeth was remembered as a 'friend of Canada' during brief, somber ceremony today at Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital

Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital was the scene of a poignant ceremony today at 1 p.m., as a wreath was laid at the cenotaph to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The Orillia Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion hosted the ceremony which featured a laying of a wreath in honour of the late monarch, who served as Queen for more than 70 years.

“National command in Ottawa said they wanted each Legion to hold a ceremony on the tenth day after the monarch’s death," explained local Legion Branch 34 president Rick Purcell. "It took a while to plan it, but, here we are.”

The ceremony and wreath laying was described by Purcell as a mini Remembrance Day ceremony, with just one wreath, instead of many.

Present at the ceremony were members of the local Legion, the Army and Navy Club, Mayor Steve Clarke and members of council, and a small group of other attendees.

Purcell, Legion First Vice President Chuck Penny, and Branch 34 Padres Rev. Gerry McMillan and Rev. Terry Bennett spoke at the event.

Queen Elizabeth II was lauded and remembered for her long years of service as Queen, and recognized for her military service during the Second World War.

She was remembered as a friend of Canada, and her behind-the-scenes work to end apartheid was noted.

The Last Post and Rouse were played by local trumpeter Mark Smith, and the Legion Pipes and Drums began and ended the 20-minute, emotional service.