Premier John Horgan at the Sooke Remembrance Day ceremony in 2018. (Sooke News Mirror)

Premier John Horgan at the Sooke Remembrance Day ceremony in 2018. (Sooke News Mirror)

EDITORIAL: COVID changing face of Remembrance Day this year

We are being asked to stay away from the traditional ceremony at our cenotaph

Remembrance Day is going to look a lot different this Nov. 11.

The heart of Remembrance Day has always been the ceremony at our community cenotaph in Sooke.

It has always been moving and heartwarming to see the huge turnout that the ceremony attracts, people coming together to remember the terrible cost of war – lest we forget.

ALSO READ: Sooke to hold virtual Remembrance Day ceremony

Lest we forget the bravery and the sacrifice and heroism. Lest we forget the pain and the tragedy and the loss. But most of all, because if we forget, we are more likely to repeat the past. And especially with the kind of weaponry we have at our disposal now, it is likely the world would not survive such a conflict again.

It is the 75th anniversary this year of the end of the Second World War. That war ended unforgettable in Japan with the dropping of two atomic bombs that decimated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Any new world war in which we engaged would see that kind of destruction visited on countless cities across the globe.

No, we cannot afford to forget.

This year, however, because of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across our communities, we are being asked to stay away from the traditional ceremonies at our cenotaphs. Instead, we must tune in online to show our support.

It is a very small sacrifice that we are being asked to make – nothing makes this more clear than Remembrance Day – and we think our community is up to the challenge.

The other thing we are being asked to do is not to forget about the annual poppy campaign. More people are staying at home as our health experts are urging us to do, so organizers are expecting that the poppy boxes won’t be as full this year. This is a vital fundraiser for our legions. People can still get a poppy at retailers throughout Greater Victoria.

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