Smaller Remembrance Day ceremonies across northeastern Ontario

Royal Canadian Legions across northeastern Ontario are hosting Remembrance Day ceremonies today.

COVID-19 restrictions will keep ceremonies smaller across the region in 2021

Royal Canadian Legions across northeastern Ontario are hosting smaller Remembrance Day ceremonies today. (Neil Cochrane/CBC)

Royal Canadian Legions across northeastern Ontario are hosting Remembrance Day ceremonies today.

In Greater Sudbury, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 and Lockerby Legion Branch 564 have planned separate ceremonies.

They will each host smaller ceremonies with legion members, veterans and a few dignitaries.

"We will pause for a moment of silence at 11 o'clock for two minutes, after which there will be a laying of wreaths ceremony," said John Goedhuis, interim president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76.

Goedhuis said most of the wreaths will be laid ahead of time to reduce the risk of close contact during the ceremony. 

In Timmins, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 will host a smaller ceremony at the Timmins cenotaph.

Andrea Villeneuve, the legion's sergeant-at-arms, said there won't be a parade this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, and they won't lay as many wreaths as usual.

But Villeneuve said members of the public and local businesses are welcome to lay their own wreaths and pay their respects after the ceremony.

In North Bay, the West Ferris Legion, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 599, will host an indoor service at its legion hall.

"We certainly don't have many World War II veterans left, and I think the feeling amongst legionnaires is that we never forget the sacrifices that were made in that war, along with the First World War, the Korean War and subsequent conflicts," said Jan Stroud, the legion's branch service officer.

Stroud said an important element this year for her is to recognize the sacrifice Canadian veterans made in Afghanistan. 

"Post-Afghanistan, even without the return of the Taliban, the suicide rate amongst them is a huge concern," she said, "much like it was post-Rwanda."

In Sault Ste. Marie, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25 will host a ceremony at the court house cenotaph, with a fly past by the Sault College aviation course and a gun salute by the 49th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery. 

With files from Kate Rutherford


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