The Remembrance Day mural painted by David Goatley in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The Remembrance Day mural painted by David Goatley in downtown Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Editorial: Salute war vets on your doorsteps

Remembrance Day gatherings are out this year, but you can still pay tribute

We will remember them.

Through thick or thin, pandemic or not, the spirit of Remembrance Day must live on because it’s so important to our very existence today.

Yes, things are a lot different this year and it will be strange not to have any public ceremonies and gatherings for the occasion due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and measures to guard against the spread of the virus.

It’s especially a shame because the younger generation has clearly taken a huge interest in honouring the sacrifices brave soldiers made to ensure a better life for them. The huge crowds in recent years at the Chemainus Cenotaph have reflected that commitment to pay tribute.

The schools in the region have also done a great job of ensuring young students understand what happened during The First World War, Second World War and other conflicts to create the freedom we enjoy today.

Veterans visiting the schools with their tales is always an eye-opener for students.

Since the usual large gathering at the cenotaph is not happening this year, it doesn’t mean we all can’t still take a few moments out of our days to mark the occasion.

The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 191 members in Chemainus are encouraging everyone to go out to their doorsteps at 11 a.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 11 in solidarity to remember those who served with two minutes of silence.

It’s kind of the same idea as the 7 p.m. tributes to health care and essential service workers that started in the early days of the pandemic. The only difference is those were noisy occasions, banging pots and pans, while this is intended to be a silent salute.

It will still be great for folks to stand on their doorsteps and look over at their neighbours doing the same thing as a show of support from the community until we can get together again in the accustomed fashion.

Special salutes must be made to our remaining Second World War vets: E.C. Rees of Thetis Island; Gerald W. Paige; James Garton; Basil McAneeley and Howard Valleau.

There aren’t many remaining, obviously, with the passage of time so their longevity has to be celebrated and wisdom shared while we still can.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

CoronavirusRemembrance Day

 

Manned tables for poppies are scarce this year due to the pandemic. Legion 191 president Len Lavender brings some to the public at the 49th Parallel Grocery Store in Chemainus to make sure they’re accessible as much as possible. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Manned tables for poppies are scarce this year due to the pandemic. Legion 191 president Len Lavender brings some to the public at the 49th Parallel Grocery Store in Chemainus to make sure they’re accessible as much as possible. (Photo by Don Bodger)