Honoured at a safe distance: Remembrance Day 2020

Pearl Lorentzen
Lakeside Leader

With COVID-19 restrictions, Remembrance Day 2020 ceremonies were different, but Slave Lake, Smith, and Flatbush held a one.

Kinosayo Museum didn’t hold a ceremony in Kinuso this year, but a work experience student is digitizing photos for next year, says Kinosayo board president Jennifer Churchill.

Slave Lake held a brief in-person Remembrance Day ceremony, but the majority of the ceremony was online. People stood, socially distanced, on Main Street and 4 Ave NW. Many wore masks. The Legion flag bearers and RCMP were social distanced slightly closer to the cenotaph.

Usually, the Slave Lake cadets guard the cenotaph before Remembrance Day and take part in the ceremony, but weren’t allowed to this year because of COVID-19.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines cenotaph as “a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere.”

Flatbush had a “verbal ceremony,” says Flatbush Legion president Peggy Laing. This mostly consisted of saying who had donated the wreaths, which had been put around the cenotaph ahead of time. About 30 people attended, but they did not approach the cenotaph.

The Smith Legion did the “bare minimum,” says Smith Legion president James Anderson. The Legion laid wreaths, but there was no public gathering.

In Smith, the 1st Smith Scouts participated in “No Stone Left Alone,” says a scout leader. “It was our mission for the day that we got from the Smith Legion.

“To make sure all our local past veterans headstones were cleaned off and then a poppy was laid in Remembrance.”

L to r: Sofia Weinrich (Beaver Scout) and Avery Phillips (Troop Scout), of 1st Smith Scouts participate in “No Stone Left Alone” in Smith. The scouts cleaned the headstones and laid a poppy on each.
Firefighters take a moment to remember Canada’s veterans at the Slave Lake Remembrance Day ceremony.
Flag-bearers and parade marshal Carol Baker, in Slave Lake. The cadets were not allowed to participate this year, because of COVID-19.

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