Remembrance Day may look different this year, but there are still many ways to honor veterans past and present in Saskatoon.
The traditional ceremony at the SaskTel Center will not take place this year due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
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However, a presentation is available on the Saskatoon site on Thursday, November 11.
“Unfortunately, the COVID restrictions of last year and this year made it nearly impossible to hold the traditional Remembrance Day ceremony here in the arena,” said Brian Swidrovich, volunteer director of Canadian Remembrance Projects.
“It first started at this particular facility in 1995… so it’s sad that we can’t continue like this.
“But at this point a guided tour of the facility for families to come and still remember their families, deceased families and / or relatives or friends or just veterans in general… It was a good alternative. . “
Remembrance Day 2021 marks the return of in-person ceremonies across most of Canada
The SaskTel Center said about 50 large format visuals scattered throughout the main lobby represent poignant reminders of the service and sacrifice of all veterans as well as the commitment and contributions of the Canadian Armed Forces and emergency personnel. current.
“(A) particular visual that people would see on the tour describes pretty much what it says, ‘once a soldier, always a soldier,'” Swidrovich said.
“So whether a man or a woman served and sacrificed themselves in WWI, WWII, Korea, the Gulf War, Afghanistan, anywhere else in the world, Canadians must remember their service and sacrifice. “
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This is the second year in a row that the annual Remembrance Day event at the SaskTel Center will not be in person.
“Over the past few years, when we could organize a physical Remembrance Day service, we actually had the largest indoor Remembrance Day service in Canada. We usually had between 8,000 and… 11,000 people, ”said Saskatoon Remembrance Day Citizens Committee, Brent Wignes.
“Last year and this year, with some of the COVID restrictions, we felt it was safer to stick with a virtual rendition of Remembrance Day.
“You have to remember that we actually include around 1,000 people from different organizations on the ground and they have various rules and regulations that they have to follow,” Wignes said.
The The 2021 ceremony is available online and features interviews with veterans.
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Wignes said the prerecorded performance wouldn’t be exactly like it did before the pandemic, but that shouldn’t matter.
“It doesn’t matter for a building. The real real meaning of remembering is taking this time to remember. It doesn’t matter how you do it or where you do it. Stop for a moment and think, ”Wignes said.
“From the information we received last year… we had a lot of people who said they were watching online or through Shaw, and we thought it had been fairly well received.
“We realize that it is not the same. You don’t have the same atmosphere as in a physical service, but the main thing is… an act of remembrance. Take the time, just take a few minutes to remember those (who made the ultimate sacrifice).
The free commemorative exhibit opened at noon and continues until 5 p.m.
As per the Government of Saskatchewan Public Health Order, the SaskTel Center will verify that all participants have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or must test negative prior to entry. Additionally, masks are mandatory for all guests aged two and over.
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