by Lucie Roy
Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Br. 176 Morinville President Kelvin Kuzyk, CD issued a release that there will be a small Act of Remembrance held at the Legion Cenotaph on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
He went on to say, “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, dignitaries and invited guests only will be able to be within the barrier to preserve social distancing and adhere to AHS guidelines. There will be no lunch or social functions at the Legion this year for health and safety reasons.
Legion Sgt at Arms member Mark Pasqualetto said there would be no public Remembrance Day service, no parade and no direct participation of military units, Cadets, Guides or other organizations. The Cadets are not permitted to parade or hold vigil at the cenotaph.
Dominion Command has given all Legions a strict set of guidelines to adhere to when planning Remembrance Day ceremonies, and that includes not having children participate in the ceremony or Act of Remembrance during the pandemic.
Comrade Pasqualetto said it would be a modified version of the National Ceremony.
Poppy Co-Chair Comrade Meads said they are working at having the service live streamed, recorded or broadcast on YouTube and other details which have yet to be announced.
Spectators will be allowed outside the barricaded area, but it is limited space. Residents are asked to maintain social distancing and bearing in mind the provincial guidelines to limited outdoor gatherings.
Comrade Pasqualetto does not want to discourage people from attending or laying a wreath when possible to do so but encourages people to respect boundaries that are in place.
Memorial Wreaths, Crosses & Poppy Boxes
Poppy Co-Chairs Melissa Meads and Phil Morrow are still accepting the purchase of wreaths and crosses until Oct. 27.
The sales will be restricted through the Legion Lounge during business hours Wed. from 4:30 to 7 pm, Thurs 4:30 to 9 pm., Friday 4:30 to 11 pm, and Sunday 1-9 pm. They are accepting cash, cheque and credit card.
Comrade Meads said the prices range from $15 to $118.00.
Pick Up and Laying
Ordered and paid for wreaths can be picked up during Legion hours with arrangements made through the Poppy Chairs from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27.
Members of the public who purchased wreaths will be able to attend outside the Legion on Nov. 11 with social distancing protocol sin effect from noon until 2 pm to pick up wreaths if they have not already done so.
The pickup and laying of wreaths will be moderated to ensure a social distanced flow that adheres to AHS guidelines.
The Public can lay their wreaths and crosses after the Act of Remembrance and ceremony is completed and under the direction of the Poppy Chairs.
They also have the option to bring them home, at their place of work, cemetery or wherever they wish to pay respect to the fallen or lay them at the cenotaph at a later time during the day.
Poppy Boxes & Donations
The annual Poppy Campaign, which runs from the last Friday in October to Remembrance day in November is to raise funds for Canadian veterans and their families.
Comrade Meads said there would be Poppy boxes in the community with locations to be determined once the supplies have arrived.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions during the poppy campaign they will be relying on the support of the public through online donations to the Poppy Fund or they can contact the Poppy Chairs or go down to the Legion and make the donation when they are open.
Comrade Meads can be contacted at 780 266 3392 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Comrade Phil Morrow at Phil77@shaw.ca.
Dominion Command has a list of more than 20 retailers who will be allowing poppy trays. This includes Costco, Giant Tiger, Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, Michaels and Shoppers Drug Mart to name a few.
The link can be found at https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign.
The Legion will be open after the ceremony from noon until 11 pm with a limit of 40 people as per AHS guidelines.
Resources/Veterans’Week Nov. 5-11
Veterans Affairs Canada has a large selection of free resources for all ages and access to speakers, and a Heroes Remember collection, which features a searchable database with a wide selection of online interviews with veterans across Canada.
This year Canada is marking the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands and Victory in Europe (V-E) Day.
Special posters highlight the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and promote awareness of remembrance and Veterans’ week.