HALIFAX -- Thousands of Maritimers gathered at Remembrance Day services across the region Monday to honour and remember the veterans who have served our country.

In Halifax, more than 500 people gathered at the Sailors Memorial in Point Pleasant Park.

Some even stood on the sea wall to pay their respects.

The ceremony honoured sailors, men and women  who fought and died while at sea.

For Petty Officer First Class Dana McLellan, this was her last ceremony as an active member.

"I was the first female coxswain of a major warship here on the east coast of Canada," said McLellan, who retires this week after 35 years in the Navy."I was the coxswain of the HMCS Ville de Quebec." 

For her, this ceremony is about honouring the past and building a bridge to the future.

"All the Cadets and the Guides and the Brownies that were here today, we need to keep that up every year, because they're the ones that are going to take my place," McLellan said.

Dozens of young sea cadets stood at attention under cloudy skies.

Sea Cadet Jaylyn Publicover laid a wreath at the foot of the cenotaph, thinking of those who came before her.

"It was probably super difficult for them to have a family because they were at sea and this is a day to commemorate them," said Publicover.

Darren Rowe brought his kids to learn about their great-grandfather, who died at sea in 1940.

"It's a somber mood," Rowe said. "It's nice to come here and recognize his efforts during the war. His name was Frederick, so Tyler, this is my little guy Tyler, his middle name is Frederick named after him."

In Saint John, Aubrey Moore recalled his wartime experience.

Moore was just a boy when war broke out, but like many others, he didn't let his age deter him from trying to enlist.

He was only 14 years old when he joined the Canadian Merchant Navy in Halifax.

"Everybody told me I was too young, they thought I was about 12 years old, so I had to lie to get in I guess," Moore said.

He signed up and got a job shovelling coal on a merchant navy freight vessel that was carrying supplies to the United Kingdom.  

"I just had a heart for the service I guess, I think I always had that desire," Moore said. "My dad was in the service before, way back in the Halifax explosion."

Moore was chosen as the reviewing officer for this year's Remembrance Day ceremony in Saint John.

In Moncton, Emmett Savard also laid a wreath. The 101-year-old was a cook in the Royal Air Force.

"As long as I've known my dad, he's never missed a Remembrance Day celebration," said Martin Savard, Emmett's son. "He's always marked it, as long as he could walk."

In Lunenburg, N.S., dozens of young people laid wreathes to honour the fallen  and take part in a moment of silence.

"For most of them, it's the beginning of them learning a little bit more about our contributions to the First and Second World Wars and to Afghanistan," said Girl Guide leader Kim Tibert.

The Canadian Women of Valour Challenge encourages girls to discover and appreciate women's contributions to the First and Second World Wars by participating in a form of remembrance, meeting with veterans, and helping in the community the way women did during war time.

"I think it's important for them to understand where we came from, where we're headed, and why peace is so very important," Tibert said.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Emily Baron Cadloff, Laura Lyall, and Amy Stoodley.