Like so many other important days that have occurred during COVID-19, Remembrance Day will also be very different this year. Not all of the usual commemorative activities will take place this year, but you can still participate virtually. Here is a list of some of the things that are or aren’t happening to help you as you prepare to honour our veterans.
- Parades – All Remembrance Day parades and marches have been cancelled.
- Commemorative ceremonies – None of the commemorative ceremonies this year are open to the public. Several have been cancelled. Ceremonies in some communities are still proceeding, but with attendance limited to invited guests only. This will help protect the health and safety of participating veterans and will also allow organizers to follow public health guidelines.
- National ceremony – The ceremony at the National War Memorial will take place, but it is not open to the public. Residents can participate virtually and watch the ceremony on the Legion’s Facebook page or on national TV. The ceremony will include a 21-gun salute and a fly-past of three heritage planes that played essential roles in Canada’s efforts during the Second World War.
- Transit service – As a small gesture to honour their sacrifice, veterans who wear their medals or uniforms during National Veterans’ Week, from Thursday, November 5 to Wednesday, November 11, can ride OC Transpo buses, O-Train, Para Transpo and STO buses for no charge. Companions accompanying veterans also ride at no charge. On Wednesday, November 11, all customers can ride OC Transpo buses, O-Train, and Para Transpo at no charge.
- Poppy Flag – To commemorate Veterans’ Week, the Poppy Flag is being flown at Ottawa City Hall and at select City facilities from Thursday, November 5 to Wednesday, November 11. The flags at all City of Ottawa sites will be lowered to half-mast from sunrise to sunset on November 11, to commemorate Remembrance Day and honour all Canadians who have served their country in time of war.
Poppies – Wearing a poppy is a personal way to support veterans and promote remembrance. Many of us are working from home and don’t pass by poppy boxes as part of our regular routine. Poppies are still available throughout the community via touchless boxes. You can also donate online at Legion.ca or you can also purchase a digital poppy that you can dedicate or share via social media with personalized stories and images.