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How London, Ont., will mark Remembrance Day in 2020

Unlike last year's celebration, 2020 will see a Remembrance Day celebration with no parade and limited attendance at the London Cenotaph. Sawyer Bogdan / Global News

It will be a different sight than usual on Wednesday as London, Ont., prepares to mark Remembrance Day amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s ceremony will still take place at the London Cenotaph in Victoria Park, however it will feature no parade and limited attendance.

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“Last year, the City of London had 550 veterans and soldiers on parade and thousands in the audience, and this year we have 25 people by invitation,” said veteran Randy Warden, who also serves as the chairperson for the London Remembrance Day Committee as well as a local zone commander for the Royal Canadian Legion.

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In lieu of the parade, participants will instead assemble at the Cenotaph and then leave the area following the service.

The traditional four armed sentries will remain posted at the Cenotaph this year, courtesy of Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

During the ceremony, a total of eight official wreaths will be laid at the Cenotaph.

Read more: Remembrance Day: Students hear veterans’ stories virtually due to pandemic

Current health guidelines have also prompted organizers to ask Londoners to not attend the event, but Warden says there are still ways to participate no matter where you are in the city.

“We are asking all Londoners to stand on the steps at the front door of their residence or business at 11 a.m. to observe a moment of silence,” said Warden.

Warden added that a Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft will begin a fly-by over the city just before 11 a.m..

“He will be as low as he legally is allowed to go to the ground… and he will be going at a speed of about 130 knots,” said Warden.

“That’s the speed that that aircraft would go when paratroopers go out during time of war.”

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Read more: A father’s love in a pandemic: the Canadian WWI veteran who died of flu searching for son’s grave

Warden added that a number of local veteran cemeteries will feature a lone piper at 11 a.m. to perform Amazing Grace, observe a moment of silence and then play The Piper’s Lament.

“We’re trying to make sure that there are things happening around the city that you can observe from close to home and still recognize the importance of this day,” said Warden.

The public is invited to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Wednesday or after the ceremony has concluded.

Those who wish to tune in to Remembrance Day can catch the local ceremony in its entirety on Global News Radio 980 CFPL starting at 10:45 a.m.

Click to play video: 'Keeping the spirit of Remembrance Day during COVID-19' Keeping the spirit of Remembrance Day during COVID-19
Keeping the spirit of Remembrance Day during COVID-19 – Nov 10, 2020

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