Cataraqui Cemetery’s ‘Day of Remembrance’ ceremony cancelled again due to pandemic

Click to play video: 'For the second year in a row, no Day of Remembrance ceremony at Kingston’s Cataraqui Cemetery'
For the second year in a row, no Day of Remembrance ceremony at Kingston’s Cataraqui Cemetery
Pandemic causes cancellation of Day of Remembrance ceremony at Kingston's Cataraqui Cemetery – Nov 7, 2021

This Thursday is Remembrance Day — a day set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For the second consecutive year, the pandemic has caused some changes to what used to be “normal,” such as the “Day of Remembrance” ceremony at Kingston’s Cataraqui Cemetery.

Usually, Kingston-area school children would place flags at the graves of fallen soldiers then witness a ceremony, but that won’t happen this year.

“On the school day prior to Remembrance Day — it’s always the school day prior, so we don’t interfere with Remembrance Day — we bus in about 120 school students and they put the flags on the graves on the military plot. We reserve that for them,” said Dave Donovan, the chair of the Day of Remembrance Veterans Committee.

“Then there’s a very short ceremony to bring it home to them what remembrance is all about.”

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Click to play video: 'No Stone Left Alone honours Vernon veterans'
No Stone Left Alone honours Vernon veterans

This year, just like last, over 900 headstones now have a miniature Canadian flag thanks to Day of Remembrance committee members. Donovan says that’s important.

“If we’re to teach the students about remembrance — we can’t forget.”

Despite the recent lessening of restrictions, the bottom line is safety. And all involved are hoping the Day of Remembrance ceremony will return to some kind of normal in 2022.

“We certainly hope that we can start the whole ceremony and the laying of the flags in the whole cemetery next year. God willing,” said Donovan.

“That this terrible virus is gone from us and we can do that — we wanted to do it this year — but it’s still with us. Next year, if we’re able to do it, we certainly will.”

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For Donovan and his committee, the remembrance message needs to be passed on: “Lest We Forget.”

Click to play video: 'In-person Remembrance Day ceremony in Kingston is back on.'
In-person Remembrance Day ceremony in Kingston is back on.

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