Closures and cancellations are commonplace in the pandemic world, but Remembrance Day services will proceed in Waterloo Region this year, with some precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Waterloo Warbirds will be flying high with their annual Remembrance Day honour flights this year.
“We do plan on overflying the region on Remembrance Day,” said Doug Sheppard, Team Coordinator for the Waterloo Warbirds. “It has become a tradition for us to honour both those who have come before us and have served, plus those who currently serve in our military, navy and air force.”
Sheppard said that the specific flight path has not been set, but that they will do so over the next couple of weeks.
“We will be in the air likely between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on the day so as to cover cenotaph locations during the services,” said Sheppard.
The Royal Canadian Legion’s (RCL) annual ceremony at the Waterloo Cenotaph will once again face changes this year. Jim Meyer from the RCL Waterloo Branch 530 said, “this year’s ceremony will be a COVID-19 reduced ceremony, the same as last year.”
The service will begin at 10:30 a.m., and a maximum of 25 people will be allowed on site. Protocols will be in place, including physical distancing, crowd management and mandatory masks.
The last Friday of October marked the return of the familiar four-petaled red flower worn by Canadians across the country. Poppies are a symbol of remembrance for all who have died for their country during combat and are worn until Nov. 11.
2021 is the 100-year anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada. According to the RCL, donations made to the Poppy Fund help to provide financial assistance and support to veterans, Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, and their families who are in need.
The 2021 national Remembrance Day ceremony will take place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. It will be available to watch online on the RCL’s Facebook page or on TV on national Canadian news networks.
Every year on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, across the country, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to honour and remember those who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace.
While COVID-19 has challenged these Remembrance Day services, dedicated volunteers have worked hard to make sure that the events will continue in some form even during a pandemic.