Downsized Remembrance Day ceremonies this year


The annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Montreal will look a lot different this year due to the pandemic, as organizers ask members of the public who usually attend to observe it from home.

The Quebec provincial command for the Royal Canadian Legion said normally hundreds of people show up for the annual ceremony at Place du Canada, with about 50 wreaths laid. Now it'll be about 25 wreaths with 50 official participants - all wearing masks and physically distanced. Others who wish to lay wreaths can do so before or after the ceremony. A safety perimeter will be strictly closed off to any other spectators. 

"We're very strict this year. We have been told there are no cadets, there will be no military parade, there will be no veterans parade - for the simple reason of the social distancing. And the military is not allowed," said executive director Paulette Cook in an interview with CJAD 800.

"We're pushing forward with having something very small but we are there to commemorate our veterans and to remember what they did for us."

All of this is subject to change due to COVID.

"Yes, things could change at the very last minute but we're trying to keep it as it is unless there's a drastic, drastic change and then we will minimize," said Cook.

Cook said the ceremony in Ottawa will also be smaller with about a hundred participants.

The poppy campaign is also downsized with legions busy trying to organize as well as finding younger volunteers since many older ones are bowing out due to COVID concerns. Volunteers will also wear masks and practice physical distancing  - no longer pinning poppies on lapels, accepting donations at a safe distance.



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