Laurier commemorates Remembrance Day virtually

Photo by Brit Kovacs

Remembrance Day, recognized on Nov. 11 to memorialize those who have fought for Canada, will be commemorated differently in Waterloo region this year.  

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, large, in-person ceremonies and gatherings won’t be possible.

To honour veterans and current military service members, legions, institutions and other organizations in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge will be acknowledging Remembrance Day with socially-distanced and virtual events. 

The Waterloo Warbirds will have flyovers of cenotaphs and cemeteries in Waterloo and Guelph. Honour Flight 1 will start at 10:40 a.m., with Honour Flight 2 taking flight at 10:30 a.m.   

People interested in viewing the Warbirds are encouraged to do so in public spaces near the flyover sites while respecting physical distancing guidelines. 

Wilfrid Laurier University’s history students’ association will be hosting a virtual ceremony at 10:40 a.m. to mark Remembrance Day. 

“This Remembrance Day holds added significance as many reflect on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe,” the Laurier press release about the event said. 

The ceremony will include remarks from professor of history Roger Sarty, a reading of “In Flanders Fields” in English by Laurier’s vice-president of student affairs, Ivan Joseph, and in French by Laurier student Steph Plante, as well as a recording of “The Last Post” followed by a moment of silence and the Reveille.

Members of the Laurier community are encouraged and welcome to attend. The event, which will be held over Zoom, is limited to 500 participants. 

Visitors in Cambridge will be able to view a tribute image that will be projected onto the Old Post Office between 5and 10 p.m. 

Now more than ever, stress is being placed on veteran support, especially during the pandemic. 

The consequences of COVID-19 have made it difficult for several veterans to apply for federal aid. 

Many have been unable to see doctors and those who have applied have had to wait to see if they qualify for assistance as the government works through an influx of claims. 

Organizations like the Royal Canadian Legion have also been financially struggling under the weight of COVID-19, with branches across Canada closing as a result. 

The Royal Canadian Legion has emphasized the importance of Canadians paying tribute to fallen soldiers this year by doing so at home. 

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony will be streamed live on the Legion’s Facebook page at 10:45 a.m.

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