The moment of silence was quieter than ever during a Remembrance Day in a pandemic.
Wreaths, solemn salutes and other ceremonies were held as part of the observation of Remembrance Day at Nanaimo’s Dallas Square cenotaph on Nov. 11.
Members of the public were not invited to the ceremony this year, instead encouraged to watch it live on Shaw TV.
A small number of veterans and other Royal Canadian Legion members, RCMP members, cadets, dignitaries and guests attended the ceremony in person, wearing masks and physically distancing.
Archdeacon Brian Evans, who read the Ode of Remembrance, also had other messages, recognizing the commitment both of soldiers in world wars and other conflicts, but also those who kept “the home fires burning” and contributed to the war effort in other ways.
“All those mothers and wives who paid their own supreme sacrifice to see young men and women leave their homes and go off to another part of the world,” Evans said. “Some of them would never be seen again. Some of them would come home wounded. Some of them would come home and be part of the community that we share today and be our leaders amongst us. They too gave their supreme sacrifice.”
There was no wreath-laying ceremony, though a small number of individuals were invited to publicly pay their respects at the cenotaph. Ian Thorpe, a Nanaimo city councillor and Legion member, recited John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields and was master of ceremonies.
“Thank you for taking time to remember and please, stay safe,” he said.