The current COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected the execution of this year’s annual November 11th Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony in Carleton Place and other communities across Canada. However, the good news is that in order to have the residents of Carleton Place remember and pay our respects to our fallen, a much smaller scaled down ceremony is still being planned.

During these unprecedented times, local Legion Branch 192 feels that it is incumbent upon them to continue to observe the annual November 11th Remembrance Day Ceremony in Carleton Place. To take the time to Remember and pay respects to those who never returned home from various wars and conflicts. To honour those who have served in the past, those who paid the supreme sacrifice, and those who continue to serve our country to maintain our freedom. And to especially remember those 94 brave young men and women from Carleton Place whose names are ever enshrined on the local Cenotaph in Memorial Park.

Unfortunately, due to the health restrictions in place, the ceremony will be limited to a maximum of 100 participants and will be by invitation only. The Ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m., and spectators are being discouraged from attending or gathering in the area surrounding Memorial Park due to the limited space and requirements for physical distancing. There will be no parade leading up to the ceremony this year and the ceremony will include a condensed Colour Party. 

In adhering to the guidelines that are in place, it is felt that the health and welfare of all citizens of Carleton Place is being addressed through these measures. We trust that our citizens fully understand and appreciate the fact that even with the restrictions in place, we will continue to Remember.

The Ceremony will be able to be viewed by those not receiving an invitation as the local Legion will be live streaming the Ceremony through Facebook Live and it may be viewed through the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 192 Facebook page. All schools in Carleton Place are also invited to do the same in order that students can participate in the ceremony through this Facebook Live process. We want to encourage people to attend our ceremony via this electronic means and not attempt to congregate in the area surrounding Memorial Park. 

Memorial Park will be cordoned off to the public and only the 100 participants receiving an invitation will be permitted access to Memorial Park. Those being invited to attend the ceremony will be required to remain 2m apart and will need to wear masks unless they are directly involved in the ceremony.

With Memorial Park being closed to the public for this Remembrance Day Ceremony, and in order to facilitate the closure of the Park, the Veterans Way portion of Franklin Street will be closed from 5 a.m. until the Ceremony has been completed. Residents and businesses are being asked to not park in this area during this time. No parking signs will be placed along Veterans Way on the Monday prior to the ceremony and everyone’s cooperation is being requested. Franklin Street between Bridge Street and Beckwith Street and Beckwith Street between the Library Parking Lot and Mill Street will also be closed during the Ceremony.

Those purchasing wreaths who still wish to have them placed at the Cenotaph may do so once the Cenotaph Ceremony has been fully completed and all invitees have departed from Memorial Park. These additional wreaths will have to be picked up at the local Legion Branch no later than November 10th since they will not be available at the Cenotaph as they have been in past years. A Poppy box will also be placed in front of the Cenotaph for those wishing to place their Poppies once the Cenotaph Ceremony has been fully completed and invitees have departed.

The annual Poppy Campaign will begin on Friday, October 30th this year and run through until November 11th. Due to COVID-19, there will be no volunteers with Poppy trays or manning tables at various business outlets this year. However, there will be Poppy boxes available at several business outlets for the general public to pick up their Poppies and make a donation. These boxes will only contain Poppies and all other Poppy items i.e. Car Poppies, Black Poppy Centre Pins and Poppy Bracelets may only be purchased by visiting the local Legion Branch.

For any further details, please call the Carleton Place Legion Branch 192 at 613-257-1727.