The Remembrance Day service in Duncan won’t have the big crowd it normally does due to the pandemic, but a small ceremony will still be taking place.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 53 (Cowichan) has been working closely with the City of Duncan to create a COVID-19 plan to organize and host a safe Remembrance Day event, for a small number of invited guests only on Nov. 11, the Legion said in a press release.
All invited guests must wear a mask and maintain physical distance of two metres (six feet) apart.
“The Legion believes in the importance of holding a small live ceremony honouring veterans and their sacrifices, especially during the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War,” the release explains. “As so many other commemorations have either been cancelled or delayed by the current pandemic, the symbology of Legions and community leaders paying homage to past sacrifices and before the eyes of those that served is more important now than ever.
“The Legion pledge to never forget echoes loudly throughout a land that has been immersed in isolation with a population whose focus is far from the events that are honoured with this ceremony.”
While the general public is asked not to attend the cenotaph this year, they are invited to take part in the ceremony online.
“It is vital that we keep our veterans safe and follow our COVID-19 Plan,” said Betty James, RCL Branch No. 53 president. “This is an invite only event — you can attend the service by the YouTube link and 89.7 Juice FM radio.”
Duncan’s mayor echoed these sentiments.
“The City is grateful that we can support the Legion to ensure veterans are able to come together and honour those sacrifices of those who have given so much for us,” Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples said. “It is more important that people honour the direction of the veterans to join them online from our homes this year to commemorate and pay our respects in order to keep them safe.”
The Legion is requesting that people watch the RCL Branch No. 53 (Cowichan) Remembrance Day event live on Nov. 11, commencing at 10:55 a.m. on YouTube.com at: https://youtu.be/eemQgAUiyjs courtesy of Shaw Spotlight – Channel 4 or 105 on BlueCurveTV.
The link will also be available through the City’s website www.duncan.ca.
People can also support the Legion by purchasing a poppy during Poppy Tag Days, Oct. 30 to Nov. 11, at local retailers throughout the Cowichan Valley, donating by e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, purchasing a wreath to be placed at the cenotaph prior to the ceremony by contacting Susan de Bree, treasurer at phone: 250-732-6039 or email at: email@example.com, or joining the Legion as a member online at https://www.legion.ca/.