The beginning of remembrance

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Officials from the Royal Canadian Legion in Petrolia marked the beginning of the act of remembrance.

Legion members were joined by local politicians Friday morning to begin the annual Poppy Campaign, raising the flag and offering the first poppies to Petrolia Mayor Brad Loosley and Lambton’s Deputy Warden, Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott.

Joe Card, the chair of the Poppy Campaign, says Remembrance Day will look a lot different this year. Normally, the local legion holds two ceremonies, one the Sunday before Remembrance Day to lay the wreaths at the cenotaph and the Act of Remembrance on Nov. 11. Veterans are then brought together for a dinner in the evening.

And he says, there were other events around the community But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Canadian Legion Command has decided there will be no public at the ceremonies.

“It’s really difficult this year,” says Card. “A lot of our events have been canceled, especially our seniors homes, where we would go to the seniors homes and actually do a service for the veterans down there. And at the churches where we would normally go and do a service at the church; because of COVID, we’ve had to cancel those events.”

Legion members will quietly lay the wreaths at the cenotaph Nov. 8. Card suggests people can stop at the cenotaph in Victoria Park during that week to pause to remember.

An invitation only ceremony will be held on Nov. 11 in Petrolia.

The Independent will be live streaming the ceremony on its Facebook page for the public.

Poppies are now available at local businesses.