Legion urges Canadians to watch from home

From The Royal Canadian Legion


2018 Remembrance Day ceremonies in Aylmer.

OTTAWA – The Remembrance Day Ceremony has played a major role in Remembrance since 1931. Every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to stand in honour of all who have fallen.

The Royal Canadian Legion is reminding Canadians that the best way to pay tribute to our fallen this year, is at home. For the first time ever, people are asked not to attend ceremonies in person.

With Canada’s major broadcasters planning to air their familiar Remembrance Day coverage, would-be spectators can pay their respects from home. The Legion will also broadcast the ceremony via Facebook Live.

“It is disappointing to discourage people from attending ceremonies this year,” says Danny Martin, Ceremony Director. “However, beyond watching national and local broadcasts, thankfulness is also reflected by wearing a Poppy, a profound gesture. And wherever they may be, Canadians can take two minutes of silence at 11 am on the 11th.”

The pandemic and restrictions related to gatherings, has meant the planning of significantly smaller ceremonies across the country (as in Aylmer and Springfield), or their outright cancellation. Other gatherings are being replaced with virtual ceremonies in some communities.

Among special highlights at this year’s national ceremony will be the presence of the 2020 National Silver Cross Mother Mrs. Deborah Sullivan from New Brunswick. She will lay a wreath on behalf of all mothers and families who have lost children in the line of service, and in remembrance of her son, Lieutenant Navy Christopher Edward Saunders who died in 2004. Vintage aircraft will conclude the ceremony, marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Traditionally, upwards of 35,000 people attend the National Remembrance Day Ceremony, organized by The Royal Canadian Legion at Ottawa’s National War Memorial.

The national ceremony starts at approximately 10:45 a.m. and the schedule is: arrival of dignitaries; O Canada; Last Post; (11:00 am) two minutes of silence; Lament; Rouse; Act of Remembrance; prayers; placing of wreaths; Benediction; God Save the Queen; and dignitaries depart and ceremony concludes.