This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and throughout the commonwealth, veterans and their families will honour the sacrifices made this Remembrance Day. The 2020 ceremonies will be trimmed to only 100 people present in person at the Ottawa National War Memorial in Canada, but thanks to technology, citizens can still honour war veterans and survivors online.
Veterans day, observed in the United States, and Remembrance Day elsewhere, is observed by 53 member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations. It is held on November 11; the date in 1918 when hostilities ceased during World War I. Although smaller numbers of people will gather in person, the Canadian Legion will continue to honor the sacrifices made by veterans. Many elderly survivors have been in isolation for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year it’s more important than ever to remember their valued contributions.
Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands at the end of the WWII, also known as V-E Day, are still honored by the Dutch people today. More than 7,600 Canadians died in the long campaign to liberate the Netherlands. The Dutch Liberation Canadian Society 2020 has minted a commemorative silver coin to pay tribute to the First Canadian Army’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands.
The scaled-back November 11 ceremonies will no longer include a parade or member of the Cadets or Junior Rangers in Canada and the color party numbers will be reduced. Those participating will be required to wear masks unless they are able to remain 2 meters apart. Wreaths will be laid in advance to reduce the number of people required to perform the duties associated with the memorial.
The Legion is also planning to create a Facebook Live event of the ceremony and is considering additional broadcasts of the event. To learn more or to search the Canadian Virtual War Memorial, follow this link to Veterans Affairs Canada. For information on Veterans Day observances in the U.S., visit the Department of Veteran Affairs here.