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Remembrance Day: COVID-19 forces many ceremonies to take place online

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Nov 11th, 2020

Canadians will stop to pay tribute to our fallen soldiers Wednesday, though the COVID-19 pandemic means many of traditional Remembrance Day ceremonies are cancelled or are taking place online.

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony that takes place at the National War Memorial in Ottawa is going ahead, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Royal Canadian Legion is asking people not to attend the ceremony, which normally draws up to 35,000 people.

“It is disappointing to discourage people from attending ceremonies this year,” said Danny Martin, the legion’s 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 a.m. on the 11th.”

This year’s National Silver Cross Mother, Deborah Sullivan, will lay a wreath in honour of the families who have lost children in the line of service.

Sullivan, who is from Summerville, New Brunswick, lost her son Christopher Edward Saunders after he was killed in a fire while serving aboard the HMCS Chicoutimi on Oct. 6, 2004.

CityNews will live stream the National Remembrance Day Ceremony at 10:45 a.m. EST on Wednesday. You can watch it here.

The City of Toronto has cancelled all in-person Remembrance Day events, instead opting for virtual commemorations that can be accessed on their website and social media channels.

There will be a small, private ceremony at the Old City Hall Cenotaph Wednesday morning that is closed to the public.

You can watch a livestream of that ceremony starting shortly before 11 a.m. on CityNews.ca.

The City of Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square will be lit in red on Wednesday, and all TTC vehicles will stop for two minutes at 11 a.m. in honour of our veterans.

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