The best way to honour Nelson’s veterans on Remembrance Day will be to watch the ceremony from home.
That’s what Royal Canadian Legion Branch 51 president Bill Andreaschuk wants residents to do instead of gathering at the cenotaph for the annual event at city hall, which typically draws crowds of people showing their respect.
This year, the ceremony will proceed but without a parade or wreath laying. Instead, Andreaschuk and Mayor John Dooley will speak to what they hope will be a COVID-19 restricted crowd of no more than 50 people. The event will also be streamed on the Legion’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/365851643795006).
“It’ll be a nice, compact and quick ceremony,” said Andreaschuk.
Dooley, who Andreaschuk presented a poppy to at the cenotaph Wednesday, said residents who want to show their support for veterans should remember how dangerous COVID-19 can be to older generations.
“They gave up a lot for us. They were asked to do a number of things that many of us today would probably turn up our nose at. …,” said Dooley.
“It’s about remembrance. I’m remembering the people who fought for our liberty and freedom and those who didn’t come back home to us. So they went through a lot in their day and now we want to make sure that they’re protected in their later years of life.”
There were also be changes made to how the legion distributes poppies.
Andreaschuk said cadets won’t be on the streets selling poppies this year, nor will anyone have a poppy pinned to them. Instead, the legion is relying on local businesses to provide trays for poppies and donation collection.
He expects donations will be less than usual in 2020, and hoped people remember the legion when poppies go on sale Oct. 30.
“We’re going to be down in our donations for the poppy fund, but we’re still going to make it through,” he said. “One thing that has to be known to the people is that all of the proceeds that we make out of our poppy fund here go back to the community, to the veterans, to seniors and youth groups that qualify.”
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