COVID-19 precautions have led the Lacombe Legion to make the decision to change a few things about this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony.
The service will continue to be held outdoors at the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC) but will likely be an hour shorter than normal. Turn out for the annual ceremony normally sees 1,500 people but that might not happen this year.
Barbara Burnett, Legion poppy chairperson, said 200 people will be allowed to attend the ceremony as long as they remain socially distanced and wear masks if they are able to.
The service will be broadcast over the loudspeaker at the LMC so those who want to attend from across the street will still be able to hear.
Veterans will be given priority seating with many of the older generation watching from their cars to stay as safe as possible.
“I think it’s a little sad for the veterans,” said Burnett. “[Normally] they sit in the front row of course and people thank them for their service.”
MP for Red Deer-Lacombe Blain Calkins will lay a wreath prior to the service starting to maintain social distancing measures.
Burnett invites people to still come out and pay their respects to the city’s veterans, and she hopes people will still donate even with the hardships many are facing.
“I hope they have a small amount to give back to our veterans,” said Burnett. “By buying a poppy or wreath if they have a veteran in the family who passed.”
If people are unable to thank a veteran in person this year, Burnett encourages them to write a letter and drop it off at the Legion. She said this is a nice way to remind the veterans that Lacombe residents are still thankful for their service.
The service starts at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at Lacombe Memorial Centre but people will be gathering closer to 10:30 a.m. It is yet to be announced if the luncheon that typically follows the service will be held this year.