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No public Remembrance Day ceremonies in Edmonton; city encourages ‘private reflection’

: National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on how the COVID-19 is changing the way National Veterans' Week is being marked this year." autoplay="true" id=7422147]

Due to the risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there won’t be a formal public Remembrance Day ceremony at Edmonton City Hall, nor a formal wreath laying ceremony at the cenotaph.

Instead, the city is encouraging citizens to take a moment for “private reflection” on Nov. 11 this year.

Read more: Edmonton Remembrance Day ceremonies scaled back amid COVID-19

“To honour our military veterans, serving members, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country in times of war and peace, Edmontonians are encouraged to observe this important day in other meaningful ways,” the city said in a news release on Monday.

“This can be done by observing a private moment of reflection, making poppies to hang in your window, or taking time to learn about Canada’s rich military history.”

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Global News will be livestreaming a private ceremony at the Beverly Memorial Cenotaph on Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. MST.

The No Stone Left Alone ceremony on Nov. 5 was also scaled back this year. It was attended by the founder and her close family and shared online by Global News.

Click to play video: 'No Stone Left Alone marks 10 years of honouring Canada’s fallen soldiers' No Stone Left Alone marks 10 years of honouring Canada’s fallen soldiers
No Stone Left Alone marks 10 years of honouring Canada’s fallen soldiers – Nov 5, 2020

The city said there will be no ceremonies at Edmonton’s municipal cemeteries this year, but “they may serve as places for calm and quiet reflection.”

Anyone who decides to go to a local cemetery in person is asked to “observe public health guidelines by staying two metres apart from others, and wearing a face covering or mask if physical distancing is not possible.”

Edmontonians could also choose to lay poppies at a local cenotaph “if this can be done safely in accordance with the guidelines provided by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.”

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Read more: No Stone Left Alone honours Canada’s fallen

There are other ways to observe Remembrance Day this year, including:

  • Share discussions, poems or creative writing about remembrance on social media
  • Learn more about services and supports for veterans on Veterans Affairs Canada’s “Veterans Matter” app
  • Watch or listen to a ceremony virtually — either live online or previously shared
  • Hear from veterans directly through resources like First World War Audio Archives or the Heroes Remember database
  • Research the story of a family member, friend, alumni from your school or member of your community who served Canada in wartime or peacetime
  • Have a small candlelight tribute ceremony at a cemetery with your household or cohort
  • Wear a poppy
  • Pause for two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11
  • You can adopt a veteran’s grave in your community. With the permission of the person’s family or the cemetery, visit and take care of the grave. You could dig weeds, plant flowers or clean the headstone
  • Write to veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members by participating in the Postcards for Peace e-cards or Valentines for Vets projects.

The High Level Bridge, Walterdale Bridge, City Hall, Muttart Conservatory and Rossdale Power Plant will be lit in red on Remembrance Day.

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