PORT HAWKESBURY: Each year, approximately 1,500 to 2,000 area residents attend the annual Remembrance Day Ceremony at the cenotaph on Reeves Street Port Hawkesbury.

The large crowd in attendance each year reminds how important and emotional the Remembrance Day Ceremony is for all the families who participate. The legion is forever thankful for the support the community displays for the continuation of the tradition of Remembrance.

With the advent of COVID-19, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 has had to rethink the Remembrance Day Ceremony, while keeping in mind the legion’s creed: “We Will Remember Them.”

In line with provincial guidelines with respect to COVID-19, and for the protection of all who would normally attend the ceremony, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 of Port Hawkesbury has decided to hold a very much smaller Remembrance Day ceremony this year.

The Remembrance Ceremony will be held inside Branch 43. Attendance will be restricted to just the Colour Party and the Branch 43 executive. All Branch 43 members who participate will follow provincial recommendations with respect to physical distancing and the wearing of masks.

Radio station 101.5 The Hawk has generously agreed to broadcast the ceremony live so that everyone can participate in the ceremony, and most importantly, join together for the annual two minutes of silence. The legion greatly appreciates the support of 101.5 The Hawk with this.

There will be no individual wreaths sold this year, either for businesses or for family members.

There will be a single large “Community Wreath” representing all the personal wreaths that are normally laid. Starting around October 20, the people who have purchased wreaths or crosses for family members in previous years will be contacted by phone to request their support for the “Community Wreath.”

At the ceremony on Remembrance Day, all those who will have contributed to the “Community Wreath” will be recognized. Similarly, the businesses and organizations who will have contributed to the large “Business and Organization Wreath” will also be recognized for their continuing support of the Poppy Campaign.

After the ceremony, the names of those who contributed, along with the names of their family members, will be listed on the Branch 43 Facebook page. Similarly, a listing of the businesses and organizations who contributed will also be published on the Branch 43 Facebook page.

After Remembrance Day, a synopsis of the ceremony will be presented to the local media for their review and possible inclusion.

Branch 43 will review, and modify if necessary, our plans for Remembrance Day should stricter provincial COVID-19 guidelines be announced.