Coronavirus: No Remembrance Day ceremony in Saskatoon, replaced by drive-by tribute

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon Remembrance Day ceremony recognizes the past, present and future'
Saskatoon Remembrance Day ceremony recognizes the past, present and future
WATCH: Thousands were in the stands at SaskTel Centre paying tribute at the annual Remembrance Day ceremony. Kyle Benning reports – Nov 11, 2019

What’s been called Canada’s largest indoor Remembrance Day Ceremony won’t be happening in Saskatoon this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The annual event usually draws thousands to the SaskTel Centre, but that isn’t possible with current rules around public gatherings.

Read more: The Saskatoon Second World War veteran with a connection to Snowbirds

Instead, a drive-by tribute has been erected to pay tribute to fallen and serving soldiers from Saskatchewan and across Canada.

“We thought we’d try and do something where mom and dad could take the kids in a safe environment and stay in their vehicles and at least be able to have a drive-by tribute,” said Brian Swidrovich, Canada Remembers Project’s volunteer director for Saskatoon.

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“It’s more than a lot of communities are able to do I think, and hopefully it’ll work out.”

Read more: World’s oldest plumber, veteran, passes away

Local heroes are among those honoured in the tribute, including Aaron Ledoux, a Muskeg Lake Cree Nation veteran who served with the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Si Campbell from Unity, Sask., a WWII Royal Canadian Air Force veteran.

The tribute is on Hanger Road, in front of the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum. It’s open to the public now, and will stay up until Nov. 12.

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Click to play video: 'Remembrance Day and COVID-19'
Remembrance Day and COVID-19

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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