Air cadets take a quiet moment at the Lake Cowichan cenotaph after laying their wreath Nov. 11, 2019. This year, residents are asked not to go to the cenotaph, but rather to take part in the Remembrance Day ceremony online. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)

Editorial: COVID changing face of Remembrance Day this year

We are being asked to stay away from the traditional ceremonies at our cenotaphs.

Remembrance Day is going to look a lot different his Nov. 11.

The heart of Remembrance Day has always been the ceremonies at out community cenotaphs in Lake Cowichan, Duncan, Chemainus and Cobble Hill.

It has always been moving and heartwarming to see the huge turnout that these ceremonies attract, people coming together in our communities to remember the terrible cost of war — lest we forget.

Lest we forget the bravery and the sacrifice and the heroism. Lest we forget the pain and the tragedy and the loss. But most of all, because if we forget, we are more likely to repeat the past. And especially with the kind of weaponry we have at our disposal now, it is likely the world would not survive such a conflict again.

It is the 75th anniversary this year of the end of the Second World War. That war ended unforgettably in Japan with the dropping of two atomic bombs that decimated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Any new world war in which we engaged would see that kind of destruction visited on countless cities across the globe.

No, we cannot afford to forget.

This year, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across our communities, we are being asked to stay away from the traditional ceremonies at our cenotaphs. Instead, we must tune in online to show our support.

If you still want the tangible experience of standing before the cenotaph, please do as we have been asked and schedule your visit for a time either before or after the official ceremony takes place. It is a small thing that organizers are asking of us, and, just as our citizens stepped up both overseas and at home to support the war effort, so are we now being asked to step up and ensure the safety of our fellow community members, especially our elders, for whom the Remembrance Day ceremony will always mean that much more because they lived it.

It is a very small sacrifice that we are being asked to make — nothing makes this more clear than Remembrance Day — and we think our community is up to the challenge.

The other thing we are being asked to do is not to forget about the annual Poppy Campaign. More people are staying at home as our health experts are urging us to do, so organizers are expecting that the poppy boxes won’t be as full this year. This is a vital fundraiser for our legions. People can still get a poppy at retailers throughout Cowichan. But if you’re staying home, consider donating by e-transfer to wpoppyrcl@gmail.com.

CoronavirusEditorialsRemembrance Day

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Grade 12 students Sophia Kazakoff and Catherine Yuan accept QMS’s Stigma Free Designation award from Stigma-Free Society president, Andrea Paquette. (Submitted)
Duncan’s QMS earns ‘Stigma-Free’ designation

“No school in the province has accomplished what QMS did in such a short period of time”

“About a year after it was last used for a bottle drive, Lake Cowichan’s derelict Scout and Guide Hall came down Monday, June 6. Girl Guides have since moved into different churches and halls around the area. Town council has yet to decide what will be done with the now vacant town-owned site.” (Tyler Clarke/Lake Cowichan Gazette, June 8, 2011)
Flashback: A.B. Greenwell, Lady of the Lake, good and bad news for the Lake News

What was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by

Conner Gilkin, 5, shows of some of his newfound loot to buddy Jax Dul, 7, during the Lake Cowichan treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5. (Kevin Rothbauer/Gazette)
Weekly hunt has Lake Cowichan digging for treasure

Gold? Silver? Candy? Andrew Braye has stashed away a range of prizes for eager treasure hunters

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read