Barrhaven Remembrance Day Returns To Cenotaph

By Charlie Senack

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease, Barrhaven’s Remembrance Day Ceremony is expected to look more traditional this year.

After being forced to hold their ceremony at Capital Funeral Homes located on Prince of Wales Drive last year, the Barrhaven Legion says this year’s event will be held again at the monument outside John McCrae High School. But because of restrictions still in place, only 100 people will be allowed to attend.

“Last year we were limited to 25 people in attendance; this year we are limited to 100 people,” said Barrhaven Legion President Stephane Guy. “We are going to have a live feed for the public to watch online because unfortunately we are asking the public not to come because of the limited number of people we can have.

In a normal year, the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Barrhaven are attended by thousands, including students from John McCrae High School. Those graduating are then called upon to place a poppy around the monument. None of that will take place this year, but November 11th will still be seen as a day of Remembrance.

Bit also new this year, there will be no wreath laying ceremony. Instead all wreaths sponsored by local businesses and organizations will be laid prior to the event getting underway.

“Unlike previous years where we had people come and lay the wreath on behalf of their organizations they represent, this year the wreaths are going to be laid on the monument before we start,” said Guy.

“It’s going to be very short because the wreath ceremony is being removed, but it will be much like before,” he added. “It starts at 10:45 am, so when we do the last post, it will be exactly at 11 o’clock. We will have a few moments of silence, the acts of Remembrance, prayers before and after the ceremony, and some readings like In Flanders Fields.”

Legion Stays Strong

Like most businesses, legions right across Canada have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. They saw a wave of closures, and the cancellation of many events which brought in much needed funds to keep their operations going.

Guy says thanks to various government supports, they have been able to stay afloat. With restrictions continuing to ease, some of their events are making a comeback, giving legion members a chance to socialize again while raising funds for veterans.

“With the limited activities we do have, we appear to be breaking even,” he said. “It’s nice to see the community is coming back to the legion. Because we are limited to 50 guests for Friday night dinners, we are booked solid. Our dart league has started up with a limited number of people participating, and we have the line dancing which has also started.”