Ahead of a much different Remembrance Day, Enderby Mayor Greg McCune offered words of tribute to those who served and sacrificed for their country, along with a reminder that the community can still come together in remembrance, even while staying apart.
Remembrance Day ceremonies have been scaled back this Nov. 11 as Legions and organizers find safe ways pay tribute amid a global pandemic. Ceremonies in Vernon and Coldstream are by invite only, and the Enderby Legion is won’t be having the usual gathering at Cenotaph Park.
Regardless, McCune said this Nov. 11 is no less a day for honouring our veterans and service members.
“On this day, we pay our solemn respect and offer our admiration to those who served and sacrificed to enable us – and so many others, the world over – to live in freedom. Their courage as they confronted the tragedies of war and human suffering must be kept in our hearts and minds, always,” McCune said.
“At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2020, wherever you may be I urge you to observe two minutes of silence to recognize those who fought for us.”
The Enderby Legion will set up a Field of Remembrance display tonight in Cenotaph Park, with contributions from local students and the Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society. Memorial banners featuring local veterans will be erected along Mill Avenue and nearby streets. Adjacent to Cenotaph Park, Mill Avenue is being designated as Veterans Way, paying tribute to those who served.
The Enderby Legion says there will be no laying of wreaths this year, and residents are asked to make a donation instead of buying a wreath. The Legion invites people to attend the ceremony virtually on its Facebook page.
“We’ll still be having our service, but it will be very abbreviated,” said Cindy Tottenham, president of the Enderby Legion, adding the streets won’t be blocked off since the service is limited to 50 people.
“We’re asking people to drive by tonight and tomorrow morning to see the candles, and take the time to remember,” Tottenham said.
“In the throes of a global pandemic, we are fighting a different fight this year; however, we remain steadfast in our commitment to remember those who fought for the values that we cherish,” said McCune, who shared his message on Sunday, Nov. 8, which is National Aboriginal Veterans Day.
“On this day, we recognize the contributions of Indigenous peoples to the freedoms and values that we hold in our hearts,” he said.
“When you glance down at the poppy on your shirt or jacket, let it be an opportunity to say, ‘Lest we forget.’”