There are plenty of ways to honour Remembrance Day without visiting cenotaphs

Many Legion branches looking to livestreaming and virtual ceremonies amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has ensured that Remembrance Day is not going to be the same this year, but the public is still encouraged to pay their respects when the clock strikes 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

All Royal Canadian Legion branches across B.C. that have managed to stay open during the pandemic are working hard to honour those who have served, while still adhering to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.

Norm Scott, president of the Legion’s Greater Victoria-area Langford branch, told Black Press Media the branch was able to reopen in June after being temporarily closed during the height of the pandemic.

“There will be a small Legion service based on Remembrance Day protocol in the name of our fallen soldiers of the past and present,” Scott said.

Branch 91 has been around since 1937, although not necessarily in the location it is in now. The branch has moved twice, and is now sitting at Station Ave — a location that will be unfortunately closed on Remembrance Day, due to the safety for everyone.

“I’d rather not have the risk and the chance of something happening and putting the legion in jeopardy,” Scott said.

All Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held virtually, with each Legion holding a maximum occupancy of 50 people, for those who choose to stay open.

A woman lays flowers following Remembrance Day ceremonies at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery in Victoria, B.C., on Sunday, November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A woman lays flowers following Remembrance Day ceremonies at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery in Victoria, B.C., on Sunday, November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The Osoyoos Legion, Branch 173, was mostly funded by K. Knudtson in 1946. The Legion has spent its entire 74-year history on 78 Street. Lyle Kent is their president.

“Our Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11, will be extremely small,” Kent said. “We won’t be using any of the outdoor facilities because we won’t be able to guarantee a gathering of only 50 people.”

The Osoyoos Legion will be asking members or the general public to sign in with their name and phone number. Staff will be using this to keep track of how many people are in the building. Once it hits the 50-person cap, the branch will have to start turning people away.

Many aspects will look a little differently for Remembrance Day this year. Without the cadets handing out poppies, Legions are left to obtain poppy funds through local businesses, who put out counter boxes.

Bob Underhill, the second vice-president of The Royal Canadian Legion for the B.C. and Yukon Command, is chair of one of B.C.’s largest ceremonies – the Vancouver Remembrance Day committee for Victory Square.

Underhill says that there is a huge importance in receiving poppy funds.

“Poppy funds are held in trust and poppy funds that are collected in the area help veterans in those areas,” Underhill said. “The Legion can’t use it for anything else but to assist. That’s an important thing because a lot of people don’t understand that. We are very strict on where money can be used.”

This year, like most of the 1,350 different Legion branches across the country, Vancouver’s ceremony won’t be garnering its typically large crowd, instead allowing virtual access through livestreams and broadcasts.

To adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, many Legions have decided to lay wreaths themselves this year, in a spaced-out fashion.

To encourage social distancing, Kent said Osoyoos members will take each wreath to lay at the local cenotaph before the ceremony commences. The Victoria Legion has decided to do the same.

If people still wish to lay their own wreath, they are welcome to do so as long as it is outside the normal time of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, Kent said.

“And turn on your TV for 11 a.m., Nov. 11 and watch the ceremony, and remember as we all will. “

Poppy donations can be placed online at legion.ca

In addition, Veterans Affairs Canada has suggested a number of physically-distanced ways to remember this year, including:

  • Listen to interviews with veterans in the First World War Audio Archives.
  • Watch La force francophone and learn about French-speaking Canadians who served in the Second World War.
  • Watch The Land of the Morning Calm – Canadians in Korea 1950-1953 which presents Korean War history, archival footage, interviews with Veterans of the Korean War and an interactive comprehensive history calendar.
  • Watch a collection of online interviews through a searchable database, with veterans from across Canada in “Heroes Remember.”
  • Visit your local cemetery and pay respect to a veteran’s grave.
  • Research the story of a family member, friend, alumni from your school or member of your community who served Canada in wartime or peacetime. If they died in service, you may wish to search for them on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
  • Write to veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members, by participating in the “Postcards for Peace e-cards,” or “Valentines for Vets” projects.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Remembrance Day

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

District of houston
Council dips into surplus for highway project

Costs have risen to place utility lines underground

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read