Skip to content

Guelph legion prepares for scaled back Remembrance Day

Legion planning two ceremonies, main one to take place at the cenotaph starting around 10:20 a.m.
20201111 Remembrance Day KA 16
Saluting the Cenotaph following an 11 a.m. Remembrance Day service. Kenneth Armstrong/GuelphToday

For the second year in a row, there will be no large scale parade in downtown Guelph or gathering at the Sleeman Centre to mark Remembrance Day as pandemic precautions have once again forced the Guelph Legion to scale back its Nov. 11 plans.

Guelph legion vice-president David Thompson said two ceremonies are set for Remembrance Day this year. 

The first is a small gathering at McCrae House beginning at 9 a.m. The 108 Water St. location is the birthplace of acclaimed Canadian poet John McCrae whose 1915 poem In Flanders Fields inspired the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. 

The main Remembrance Day service in Guelph for 2021 will start around 10:20 a.m. at the cenotaph at the corner of Eramosa Road and Woolwich Street. A moment of silence will be held there at 11 a.m.

"These are very small and structured ceremonies unlike the ones we have in the Sleeman Centre because of COVID regulations," Thompson said. "And we would encourage people that when they come, they come wearing a mask even though it's an outdoor ceremony."

Despite challenges, Thompson explained the legion felt it was essential to persist in organizing ceremonies to mark the day and remember the sacrifices of those who have served Canada at war. 

"Even if we miss just one (Remembrance Day), our feeling was that people would suddenly not think about it and not perhaps engage with it," he said. "And so we really felt that no matter how small the ceremony is, it's something that we can present and remind people that this is a very special year and a special time for us."