Grande Prairie is being asked to mark Remembrance Day from a distance this year. While the two annual ceremonies are still going ahead, organizers of both say they are not open to the general public due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Grande Prairie Legion Branch 54 typically holds an event at Revolution Place on November 11th. However, Secretary Bobbie Vangurp says a private ceremony will instead be held at the legion, available to the public via live stream.
“All all the wreaths have to be pre-laid. We are still doing sales, so anyone who wants to purchase a wreath is encouraged to do so, and we will have them pre-laid for the ceremony here.”
She adds the decision to withhold a major public ceremony was a difficult one, but it came down to wanting everyone to have the same opportunity to show their respect.
“I don’t think we are going to have as many veterans; I think we will have one or two here, but we won’t be able to have them all in because we are restricted to only 50 people [indoors].”
Don Sharp with ANAVETS in Grande Prairie says it’s a similar story for the outdoor ceremony at the Jubilee Park Cenotaph. He says while a parade will still take place, there will be no gathering of the public.
“The Army-Navy club has done the outdoor ceremony at the cenotaph for the last 20 or so years,” he explains. “Still planning on going ahead with it, barring the unforeseen, of course.”
There will also not be a luncheon for the public afterward like there normally is.