The Castlegar Robson branch of the Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its annual poppy campaign this week by presenting Castlegar mayor Bruno Tassone with the first local poppy.
This year the campaign will look a bit different due to COVID-19 constraints. You won’t see local veterans and Air Cadets in front of stores and out on the sidewalk offering the bright red lapel pins.
Legion Branch 170 vice president Dean Burdeyny says the poppies will still be available inside local businesses however.
The Legion is still finalizing plans for its traditional Remembrance Day ceremony, but that too won’t actually be traditional.
A ceremony will still take place on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the Cenotaph in Kinsmen Park, but with less fanfare than usual.
There will be far fewer participants as there won’t be a parade and the cadets will not be standing guard. Also missing will be the choir, Miss Castlegar and all of the individuals and businesses placing wreaths. Wreath laying will take place prior to the ceremony by Legion volunteers.
There will still be the traditional moment of silence and a local piper has confirmed he will be there to play his mournful serenade.
The Legion asks all attendees to practice social distancing and follow the guidelines set forth by the provincial health officer.
“Men gave their lives in service so that we can have the lives we have today — to me, that’s the most important thing to remember,” said Burdeyny.
The Legion will be releasing more details in the coming weeks once their plans are finalized.