It will be very different Remembrance Day at the Fort Langley Cemetery and Cenotaph this year because of the pandemic.
Last year, a record turnout of 6,500 attended the Nov. 11 Remembrance Day ceremonies at 23105 St. Andrew’s Street.
This year, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, organizers have announced there will be no public access to the event at the cenotaph on Glover Road, and the service will be broadcast on the Fort Langley Remembrance Committee’s newly created website at www.FortLangleyRemembers.com.
Spokesperson Jonathan Meads explained the website was created in response to the pandemic, but plans are to maintain it even after the COVID-19 crisis has passed, to provide an archive of photos and videos of the annual ceremonies in future years.
It already features galleries from the 2018 and 2019 services.
This year’s service will be pre-recorded, with only the two minutes silence at 11 a.m. and the wreath laying live.
“There will be no accommodation for the public at the cenotaph and we encourage the public to watch from their homes,” Meads advised.
“We believe this will be the safest way to show our respects and commemorate Remembrance Day.”
Meads said organizers are also planning for fewer wreath layings.
“To keep our numbers down, we have asked for government officials to have no more than two wreath layers and appreciate if there is only one. We understand for service organizations there is a protocol of two wreath layers.
No commercial or community group wreaths will be laid during the service and members of the public are encouraged to come to the cenotaph after 12 p.m. to lay wreaths and poppies “in a socially distanced manner.”
A much larger area of the cemetery will be cordoned off to ensure COVID protocols are followed for those required to attend.
Meads said the Fraser Blues flying team was still expected to make a flight over the cenotaph on Remembrance Day, and there were tentative plans to have Scout clean the veterans headstones on the Saturday before Remembrance Day.
Means said the Scouts are looking foreword to the event “very much.”
There won’t be as many as the previous three years, because they will be following Scouts Canada coronovirus guidelines that limit attendance to no more than 16 people, divided into two groups of eight.
The Fort Langley Remembrance Day Service is a joint effort of the Fort Langley Remembrance Day Committee and the Fort Langley Lions Club.
Anyone who who already have a wreath to be laid is asked to contact Marilyn at 604-888-5350 to make arrangements.
All other wreath inquiries are to be sent to Madeline at 604-856-8814 at the Aldergrove Legion Wed, Thurs and Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.Her email address is email@example.com. Please place your order before Nov. 8.