City of Edmonton plans small, outdoor Remembrance Day ceremony near city hall

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The City of Edmonton will hold a short Remembrance Day ceremony near the City Hall Plaza Cenotaph on Nov. 11, but no indoor service at city hall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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As Alberta fights to drive down a deadly fourth wave of infections, several of Edmonton’s annual Remembrance Day ceremonies honouring veterans have been scaled back in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission.

The downtown ceremony begins at 10:40 a.m., and the city asks that bystanders in the remembrance ritual follow public health guidelines and maintain a safe physical distance from other households in attendance.

Veterans and active service members in military uniform or legion dress with identification indicating past or current military service are entitled to free transit on Nov. 11. However, Edmonton Transit Service will be operating on a Saturday schedule and the entire system — including buses and trains — will stop for one minute at 11 a.m. to pay tribute to veterans if conditions are safe to do so.

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Just like last year , there are no ceremonies slated for municipal cemeteries, but the city says those locations may be used as places for “calm and quiet reflection” while taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as physically distancing or wearing a face covering for those who can’t keep a two-metre distance.

Both the High Level Bridge and Walterdale Bridge, as well as city hall, the Muttart Conservatory and Rossdale Power Plant will be lit red on Remembrance Day in honour of veterans.

Remembrance Day observers may place poppies at a local cenotaph so long as social distance guidelines are observed, the city adds.

According to the Calder Community League’s October newslette r, there will be a small public gathering at the cenotaph in Calder Memorial Park on Nov. 11 at 10:50 a.m. with COVID protocols as well as social distancing in effect, although masks are recommended.

The Beverly Memorial Cenotaph Committee is also organizing a small ceremony at the monument on 118 Avenue and 40 Street on Remembrance Day, but observers are encouraged to tune into a livestream of the event on YouTube or Facebook at 10:20 a.m instead.

Given the current risk of public and indoor gatherings, the city also recommends honouring veterans with a moment of private reflection, hanging poppies in a window at home, and learning about Canadian military history.

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