By Camille Aubin
All events this year must be organized in a different manner due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2020 Remembrance Day is no exception.
The Royal Canadian Legion acknowledges the end of conflicts and does not commemorate the start of conflicts. The most sacred day of Remembrance is Remembrance Day. Every year, on Nov. 11, the Legion recognizes all of Canada’s Veterans, serving and retired, and commemorates our fallen, including men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, Peace Officers, Merchant Navy, and Reserves. On this day, we also honour the families and their losses.
Funds raised in the annual campaign lead up to Nov. 11, support veterans, their families and dependents, seniors, education and Remembrance programs.
The Nov. 11 Remembrance Day activities’ format will be very different from previous years for every municipality due to the COVID-19 protocols. There will be no crowds allowed, no hockey players marching, no big parades…
This year Invermere’s ceremony will be marked with a small in-person ceremony at the Cenotaph that will be streamed for the general public online. The parade will start at the Legion at 10:50 a.m. moving towards Cenotaph Park. Only 50 Veterans, Legionnaires and invited guests will be welcome on site, respecting protocols. The Poppy Committee Chair Branch #71 request that no crowds attend the service as social distancing is not achievable. It will be possible to watch the service at the Cenotaph through a Facebook Live on www.facebook.com/RCLBC71/. You can also find it the Invermere, B.C. Events page on Facebook. If you wish to lay your wreath, that can be done only after the parade has left the park.
In Edgewater, Noreen Madden, President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #199, said, “our Branch is very sad to announce we will not be having a service for the public. We will be doing a private laying of the wreath ceremony with only a few members and veterans.” Only veterans, members and few guests will be welcome on site. Legion Branch #199 will be hosting a Remembrance Day Dinner drop-in style, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. “We have our hall set up with all public health safety measures in place,” said Noreen.