Police say 400-500 vehicles paraded by Saint John’s TD Station Wednesday as the community shifted Remembrance Day ceremonies to meet COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
The venue would normally be filled with hundreds of people, hosting the province’s largest Remembrance Day gathering.
That, of course, couldn’t happen this year due to COVID-19 measures.
Instead, veterans, service members and first responders lined the steps of the building as a parade of residents passed by honking and waving to show respect and give thanks.
Saint John’s Remembrance Day Committee announced the event late last week, but even with just a few days to prepare, the Atlantic Superstore parking lot was packed before the parade began.
“Nothing will stop this community from paying their respects to veterans,” said Saint John Mayor Don Darling.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Euclide Doucet, a veteran of the Second World War.
His daughter, Pat Tobin, was at the wheel, happy to have brought her dad out at the last minute.
“It’s very important,” she says.
“These guys have put their lives on hold for us.”
At 1 p.m., the stream of cars started rolling, continuing for about half an hour before things wrapped up.
“I think that’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen,” said Winifred Rice, a WWII vet who watched from the sidewalk.
“I’ll never forget that — and I think Saint John should be commended for doing this.”