While formal indoor Remembrance Day services on Nov. 11 were cancelled throughout Virden and area, and undoubtedly across the country, in Westman communities paid respect to the sacrifice of Canadians in conflicts over the years and around the globe. For those who stood in harms way in defense of our Commonwealth, of our freedom and of our nation, Canada, the Act of Remembrance was observed.
At cenotaphs, Legion presidents, colour parties and buglers gathered. Families paid tribute from a distance, some in parked cars.
Earlier in the week, school groups partook in Remembrance in other ways this year as well, since their usual indoor school ceremonies could not take place due to COVID-19 restrictions. School classes walked to the cenotaph in their communities, or held outdoor services on their school grounds, as did Mary Montgomery School; or had an honoured guest speaker whose address was broadcast to the classrooms, as in the case of Virden Junior High School.
Students throughout Canada learn the history of war and peacekeeping. Lions Clubs sponsor Peace Poster contests - Virden Lions’ contest winners were featured in last week’s issue.
Canada’s National Remembrance Day service in Ottawa at the National War Memorial could be seen on YouTube. This inspiring broadcast was very scaled down in numbers. A parallel was drawn by several speakers to the battle against COVID-19, and the role of the military when called upon to help in care homes was not forgotten.
Locally, the camaraderie of Remembrance Day services was greatly missed. The recent passing of several local veterans reminds of the importance of celebrating each Remembrance Day and letting our veterans and current military know their sacrifice is appreciated.