Lest We Forget

This will be a very different Remembrance Day

By Caitlin Finlay


With COVID-19 an ongoing threat and case numbers rising in many Canadian cities, most Remembrance Day ceremonies will be virtual this year—and you can donate to the Royal Canadian Legion virtually, as well.

Every November 11, we gather and at 11 a.m. observe two minutes of silence to remember our fallen Canadian military service members. While we may not be able to physically gather this year, there are still ways we can show our appreciation.

In many Canadian cities, gatherings including parades and ceremonies have been cancelled or severely limited, or will be held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions and risks. The Royal Canadian Legion, which hosts and conducts the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa each year, is encouraging Canadians to stay home and view the televised ceremony on CBC or through a Facebook Live stream, which is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m. Canadians who want to pay their respects at their local monument are urged to do so either before or after the official ceremonies and to maintain physical distancing measures.

The poppy campaign, which usually raises approximately $20 million, has been adversely affected by COVID-19 regulations that forced the cancellation of dinner and dance fundraisers. Given social distancing measures and the risk COVID-19 presents for aging veterans, poppy trays with donation boxes have been left in stores but veterans aren‘t collecting funds in person.

Poppies are freely available, but donations are appreciated and go towards the Poppy Fund to help veterans and their families across Canada. You can find a poppy near you by contacting your local Canadian Legion branch or by  visiting one of the Legion’s many 2020 Poppy Campaign partners including Bulk Barn, Loblaws, Michaels, Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and many more. The Canadian Legion has also partnered with Provigo and Maxi grocery stores to allow you to donate at the cash. You can also create a personalized digital poppy and dedicate it to a veteran by name. If you are interested in donating you the Canadian Legion Poppy Trust Fund, you can do so on the donation page or see the website for other ways to donate and support veterans and their families.

Photo: iStock/TinkerSailorSoldierSpy.