As in years past, November 11 has always been honoured and recognized with Red Deer’s two Remembrance Day services at the Servus Arena and Veterans Park Avenue. However, with COVID-19, things will be done a bit differently for this year, and as we would like to honour the men and women who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict, and peace. One way is to go to the live Facebook feed of The National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa Wednesday, November 11, beginning at 8:45 am Mountain Standard Time. Tune in and pay your respects with two minutes of silence to be held at 11:00 am Eastern Standard Time.
For those interested in history, the City of Red Deer has a War Memorials Self Guided Tour, designed to honour those who fought and acknowledge the people who remained behind. The Downtown portion of the tour is ideal for walking, and the outer Downtown and Michener Hill portions are best by either cycling or driving as the sites are located farther apart. You can start at the CPR Station, the place where families were bidding farewell to their loved ones heading off to war, as you run along historic Ross Street towards the Cenotaph and Veterans Park. The tour ends at the Red deer Cemetery, where five honour fields are located, each containing the graves of veterans who served in the First or Second World War, the Korean War, or on a peacekeeping mission.
You can also head to the Red Deer Regional Airport for a Remembrance Day Service at 2:00 pm at their onsite memorial HARVARD. This is an outdoor service by The Harvard Historical Aviation Society to honour the lives lost at CFB Penhold.
The Innisfail Royal Canadian legion will be having an outdoor Remembrance Day Service with a parade, memorial service, and a wreath Laying starting at 10:45 am. The public is welcome but must remain behind barricades and practice social distancing. The ceremony will also be shown live on Facebook for those who wish not to attend. The Starfighter Model 104 F at the Innisfail Royal Canadian Legion is also a great way to honour the day for those plane enthusiasts. Did you know it is the only Lockheed manufactured F-104F on display in North America?
The Town of Sylvan Lake is partnering with the Royal Canadian Legion 212 Sylvan Lake to provide a Remembrance Day service at the Community Centre. Although it is limited to Legion members, veterans, and their families, it will be broadcasted through a live stream on the Town of Sylvan Lake’s YouTube Channel.
Take a walk in Centennial Park Sylvan Lake and observe the Flags of Remembrance. The display will be up till November 12, so this is a great time to walk the flags, read the names, reflect and pay tribute to those who have died or are missing in action from the Boer War to current missions.
One of the best ways to celebrate Remembrance Day is to wear a poppy, a symbol of remembrance of those lives lost in the First World War and subsequent conflicts. You can purchase poppies here in Red Deer by contacting the Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion #35 at their poppy office or look for them at some businesses throughout Red Deer, where they will have a tray of poppies on hand. Tourism Red Deer has one here at our offices, brought in by the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
The Royal Canadian Legion also encourages picking up a wreath; you can get one at the Red Deer Royal Canadian Legion and display it in your business, at home, on your front lawn, or at cemeteries on Veterans gravesites.
Though small, these acts are meaningful in helping us to remember and recognize our veterans who willingly endured hardships and sacrifices taken upon themselves so that we could live in peace.
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