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The ceremony in Halifax celebrates the Centennial Anniversary of the Naval Reserve

More than 100 members from HMCS Scotian marched through the streets of downtown Halifax on Sunday to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the Naval Reserve of Canada.

“It is an honor bestowed upon a city for its militia, in our case the Naval Reserve, to be able to have the freedom to bear arms and march through the city without being arrested or causing trouble,” explained HMCS Commanding Officer Kyle Penney. Scots,.

The Freedom of the City ceremony includes a parade that is a symbolic gesture of honoring military units with historical, social and geographical ties to the region. It recognizes their dedicated service and fosters strong bonds between the facility and residents.

Members of HMCS Scotian marched to the front steps of the Town Hall where Mayor Mike Savage was there to welcome them.

“It shows the relationship between the city, the community and the militia reserve. Traditionally, the militia and navy reserves would help protect the communities they were in,” Penney said.

Mayor Mike Savege speaks to members of HMCS Scotian for the Freedom of the City ceremony. (CTV/Hafsa Arif)

On Sunday it was sub-lt. Omar Bitar’s first time participating in the parade.

“I am extremely proud to be in the Navy. I have an older brother who serves full-time in the regular force, so I’m just doing my part. I’m also in university, so (I’m) just participating and giving as much as I can to the navy,” Bitar said.

Members of HMCS Scotian march past the cameras at Halifax City Hall for the Freedom of the City ceremony. (CTV/Hafsa Arif)There are 24 naval reserves across Canada. HMCS Scotian is the only reserve unit in Nova Scotia, along with 4 others on the East Coast.

Between the Navy and the city, the relationship has deep roots, Bitar said.

“In this city, especially in Halifax, the Navy is very important, so just maintaining public relations and establishing a presence.”

A celebration that not only pays homage to the past, but also looks to the future.

For more news from Nova Scotia, visit our dedicated provincial page.