Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Remembrance Day in Chestermere was very different than in previous years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to find new ways to acknowledge events, like birthdays, celebrations, weddings, and funerals. Remembrance Day to looks very different this year,” Mayor Marshall Chalmers said.
“While gathering, is typically an important part of our community life, it’s not possible this year, and we make changes to keep our community safe,” he said.
Adding, “While I recognize that this is disappointing for many, it also invites us to find new ways to acknowledge this important day.”
In the past, Chestermerians honoured veterans by coming together for a ceremony. However, this year, the community honoured veterans by watching the live stream of the ceremony at home.
“Perhaps, it will remind us to consider the loved ones that soldiers left behind when they went to war,” Chalmers said.
“In other years, families brought children to the ceremony. Perhaps today consider the children that were left behind as families went overseas to serve and take some time to talk to your kids about Remembrance Day and what it means to you,” he said.
Although wreaths had to be placed before the ceremony, Chalmers encouraged community members to find other tangible ways to show their support of veterans by sharing personal stories on social media, decorating windows with poppies, or donating to a Veterans Food Bank online.
“Usually, we invite, we see, and we honour our veterans at our Remembrance Day service. This year personally reach out to a veteran yourself. Call, write, or email to thank them for their service, and take time to hear their stories,” Chalmers said.
Throughout the afternoon, families were encouraged to visit the Cenotaph and pay tribute to veterans and take a moment to remember together.
“Our 2020 ceremony may not be our typical Remembrance Day, but together we can still remember. Together we can pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much for us, together we can follow their example and do our part to keep others safe, and together while we are a part, we will remember them,” Chalmers said.