Volunteers with the Stettler Royal Canadian Legion Branch #59 are preparing to observe Remembrance Day.
“It’s been left up to branches to plan their own event, taking into consideration all of the restrictions and guidelines from Alberta Health Services,” explained Rosalind LaRose, who sits as the first vice president for Alberta/Northwest Territories Royal Canadian Legion Command.
“Our own branch here will be doing a service at Sharpe’s Memorial Park,” she said, adding that the service is set to begin at 10:45 a.m.
LaRose said that 200 people are permitted to gather outdoors for services, according to AHS.
“People are welcome to attend providing they follow the guidelines and social distance,” she explained. “We would also request they bring their own chairs if they wish, and the program should only be about half an hour long.”
Normally, the service includes a wreath-laying ceremony which veterans’ families participate in.
This year, the only wreaths that will be laid during the program include those of government, the Legion and local municipalities.
However, families can still purchase wreaths in memory of loved ones, and lay them at the cenotaph after the service.
“We are hoping to encourage the community to decorate their windows. Also, those who normally lay the wreaths at the service, we are going to give them the opportunity to lay them after our service is completed at the cenotaph. Or, some are taking them to the gravesites. Others are placing them on their front lawns, doorsteps or in their windows.”
LaRose said the Legion branch will be open this Thursday and Friday, plus next Monday and Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m. for the sale of the wreaths.
Meanwhile, some branches are planning indoor services but with reduced numbers being able to attend. By holding the Stettler service outside, far more are able to take part, she said.
Meanwhile, the annual poppy campaign is underway as well at several local businesses.
For more information, call Stephen LaRose at 403-323-0743 or the Legion office at 403-742-2404.