World War II veteran Nelson Whatmore places a wreath at the foot of the monument during the 2019 Remembrance Day Ceremony at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

World War II veteran Nelson Whatmore places a wreath at the foot of the monument during the 2019 Remembrance Day Ceremony at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Remembrance Day closed to public across North Okanagan

Traditional events cannot take place under current COVID-19 health rules

Attendance at Remembrance Day ceremonies across the North Okanagan will be by invitation only in 2020 due to COVID-19 rules.

But check here for a live stream of Vernon’s private ceremony. Sherpa Group Events will be live streaming the event, as it is not open to the public.

“It will be at the Vernon Cenotaph and the public is not invited. It will be invitation-only,” said Sandra Patterson, poppy chairperson of Vernon’s Royal Canadian Legion branch.

The Vernon Legion will livestream the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the cenotaph on its Facebook page Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Patterson said poppy sales are also being scaled back.

The Legion will not be using air cadets, sea cadets, Girl Guides, Brownies or Scouts and Cubs to help with the sales due to COVID-19.

Poppy stands will be set up at various businesses throughout the North Okanagan which you can purchase and make donations into a tin.

In Vernon, HSBC and London Drugs will also accept tap donations with that money staying in Vernon.

COLDSTREAM

Coldstream is also closing its Remembrance Day ceremony to the public.

“Due to this unprecedented situation that is impacting us all, and to comply with the provincial health orders for the health and safety of our community members and employees, the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Coldstream Cenotaph will be closed to the public for 2020,” chief administrative officer Trevor Seibel said in a news release.

The district asks those groups wishing to have a wreath placed at the cenotaph contact the municipal office and bring in a wreath by Nov. 6. The wreaths will be placed on the morning of Nov. 11 by district staff, and a list of those who have dropped off wreaths will be posted at districtofcoldstream.ca.

The district is asking people to stay home for everybody’s safety but urges Coldstream residents to take a moment at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to remember those who fought for our country. The usual post-ceremony gathering at the Coldstream Fire Hall is also cancelled this year due to health and safety reasons.

LAVINGTON

The Lavington Community Association will present an online video tribute for Remembrance Day. There will be no service in Centennial Park. Residents are asked to watch the LCA Facebook page for details.

LUMBY

The Lumby Legion is very sad to announce that like other Legions across Canada, the local branch won’t have a cenotaph ceremony for Remembrance Day.

The Lumby Legion will follow the public gathering guidelines during the COVID-19 as it could otherwise put veterans and others at risk.

Please continue to show your support to veterans by buying and wearing your poppies, which went on sale Oct. 30.

“On Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. remember to hold two minutes of silence in honour of our fallen soldiers,” the Lumby Legion said.

It is recommended that everyone stays home and catch ceremonies on your TV or online.

The Lumby Legion will also be closed on Remembrance Day this year.

ARMSTRONG

Remembrance Day is going ahead, but with fewer faces in Armstrong.

“We’re still doing the ceremony at Hassen Arena but it’s not open to the public,” Royal Canadian Legion branch 35 office manager Marilyn Whittner said.

The public can still honour veterans from their living rooms by watching the livestream Nov. 11 starting at 10:45 a.m. at http://bit.ly/legion35ceremony2020.

Poppies are also available for purchase at local shops around town.

ENDERBY

There will be no laying of wreaths at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony at Enderby’s cenotaph, and the community is asked to consider attending the ceremony virtually on the Legion Facebook page.

The cenotaph will be decorated with wreaths, poppies and candles ahead of time and the public is requested to make a donation instead of buying a wreath.

LAKE COUNTRY

Honouring those who fought for our freedoms will also be done in silence and solitude in Lake Country.

“We feel strongly that we do have to honour the vets, but we also want to make sure we don’t get 100 or whatever people out, because of the restrictions,” Oyama Legion vice-president Kees Boersma said.

Therefore, a short, invite-only service will take place Wednesday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m., at the cenotaph.

“We are telling people not to show up,” Boersma said.

The Legion is selling poppies and has trays out at various locations around the district. Local businesses are thanked for their support.

READ MORE: Second World War veteran celebrates 100th birthday in Vernon

READ MORE: Vernon veteran reaches 101 amid COVID-19 pandemic

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