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Saint John Remembrance Day ceremony safely honours veterans amid COVID-19 pandemic

Click to play video 'Saint John ‘Remembrance Day Roll Past’ a way to honor veterans amid pandemic' Saint John ‘Remembrance Day Roll Past’ a way to honor veterans amid pandemic
With the unique ways New Brunswickers have honoured those who served across the province, traditionally crowded ceremonies were pared back as the pandemic forced everyone to adapt. Travis Fortnum reports – Nov 11, 2020

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.

READ MORE: Nursing home residents knit Remembrance Day poppy display: ‘We must always remember’

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.

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“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.”

Winifred Rice and other veterans waited outside Saint John’s TD Station as residents drove by honking and waving to express thanks. Travis Fortnum/Global News

At 1 p.m., the stream of cars started rolling, continuing for about half an hour before things wrapped up.

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“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.”