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Vernon man asks Canadians to stand outside to remember our veterans during pandemic

Click to play video: 'Vernon man launches initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day during pandemic' Vernon man launches initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day during pandemic
Vernon man launches initiative to commemorate Remembrance Day during pandemic – Nov 10, 2020

For 102 years, Nov. 11 has been a pivotal day in the Canadian calendar.

It commemorates the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. Ceremonies that take place at cenotaphs are a tradition to honour our veterans, but the coronavirus pandemic is restricting the traditional pomp and ceremony to commemorate the day.

However, Vernon photographer Wayne Emde has an idea to still honour our veterans by simply walking to the end of your driveway.

“It’s one time a year where we can acknowledge the sacrifices these men and women made,” said Wayne Emde, Vernon photographer. “It’s only for two minutes out of the whole year so it’s not a big sacrifice on our part, but I think we need to do that.”

That idea to observe two minutes of silence this way has now caught on and been shared across the country.

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“I hope it’s become a widespread thing and I hope to see people lined up down streets all across town,” said Emde.

“The walk to the end of his driveway for Remembrance Day will be the last act Maj. Mitch Steck of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves will do in his uniform, before his compulsory retirement on Saturday on his 65th birthday.

“I know it’s going to be bittersweet. It’s been 45 years,” said Steck.

Read more: WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday at Vernon Legion

For the last 18 years, Steck has worked at the Vernon Cadet Training Centre and worked from home for his final year. He won’t be able to take part in the annual ceremony that fills the 3,003 at Kal Tire Place in Vernon due to the pandemic.

“Remembrance Day being cancelled in Vernon, for the public affair, like it has been in Vernon for the last couple years, was also a disappointment,” said Steck.

“With Wayne’s idea, we are able to do that and actually do something to recognize the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.”

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Steck will take his final march with Emde by his side to observe two minutes of silence to honour those that came before him.

Click to play video: 'Finding ways to honour Canada’s veterans amid the pandemic' Finding ways to honour Canada’s veterans amid the pandemic
Finding ways to honour Canada’s veterans amid the pandemic – Nov 10, 2020

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