An RCMP member salutes during a small Remembrance Day ceremony held by the Red Deer Legion at the cenotaph in downtown Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Remembers

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Remembrance Day ceremonies were much different in 2020

Remembrance Day 2020 will be remembered.

While it was not the grand tribute that many observers have become accustomed to over the years, with the difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, events were small, intimate and impactful as ever Wednesday.

At the Red Deer Cenotaph, with socially distanced spectators and masks worn throughout, a small crowd gathered at a safe distance to witness the ceremony.

“Today and every day we honour the veterans. Whether active duty, discharged or retired or reserve. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two. This was a genuine world war, involving participants from around the world. For Canadian participants, the war started in the fall of 1939,” said Amanda Kerik, who helped organize the event on behalf of Red Deer’s Korean Veterans.

“To all veterans, past and present, home or abroad, we remember and we are thankful. Thank you for your service, your courage and your sacrifice for our freedom.”

After the ceremonial laying of the wreaths, veteran Don Holloway, Red Deer’s citizen of the year for 2020, read In Flanders Fields.

Holloway is believed to be one of the city’s last living veterans of the Korean War.

He was born in Port Blandford, N.L., and enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1951. He served as a combat engineer for a year during the Korean War, and in 1977, he and his family settled in Penhold.

The short event Wednesday came to a close with citizens laying their poppies at the base of the cenotaph.

Earlier in the morning, the Red Deer Legion hosted a small wreath-laying ceremony at the cenotaph, with several RCMP members, MP Earl Dreeshen and a few local MLAs.

Red Deer Legion president Bev Hanes, one of those in attendance, said even in these difficult times, it’s important we find ways and take time to remember those who fought for freedom.

“No matter what, you still have to do it. Remembrance is very important. If we don’t remember things, especially these men and women who served our country, then you don’t really respect much in society,” Hanes said.

Small ceremonies were held across the region, with some UN and former NATO soldiers also honouring members at the Alto Reste Cemetery in Red Deer.

Still, many ceremonies in central Alberta went virtual, were much smaller than usual, or cancelled entirely, because of COVID-19.

With the pandemic hitting record highs across the province in recent weeks, Premier Jason Kenney said in a statement about Remembrance Day that Albertans are facing a challenge similar to the Spanish flu, which arrived just as the First World War came to an end.

“Just as the Great War was ending, a deadly influenza struck the war-weary world. Just over a century later, we find ourselves facing the COVID-19 crisis, an echo of that early pandemic,” he said.

“We recognize, throughout history, that suffering and loss are universally part of human life. But so too are compassion, hope, faith and perseverance.

“As Albertans and Canadians, we can seek the light of better days through our time-honoured defence of freedom, democracy, human dignity and the rule of law.”


Red Deer Legion president Bev Hanes carries a wreath during a small Remembrance Day ceremony held by the Red Deer Legion at the cenotaph in downtown Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

An RCMP member lays a wreath during a small Remembrance Day ceremony held by the Red Deer Legion at the cenotaph in downtown Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Legion president Bev Hanes lays a wreath during a small Remembrance Day ceremony held by the Red Deer Legion at the cenotaph in downtown Red Deer on Wednesday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Just Posted

Patrons practice on a putting green as the Whitestone Bridge looms in the distance at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in the Bronx borough of New York on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Former President Donald Trump has a rich history of fighting back when he’s down and making others pay, and that’s exactly how he intends to deal with New York City over its plans to fire his company from running the city golf course. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Dump Trump? Kicking him off NYC golf course may not be easy

Trump Organization has been reeling after the Capitol riots

A photo illustration made December 14, 2012 in Montreal shows a computer in chains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Irish health system says it’s targeted in ransomware attack

Health care systems have been a target before

A woman wearing a mask talks on her phone near an exhibition depicting a rover in Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
China Mars rover to land between Saturday and Wednesday

Only the United States has successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars

Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza

Israel called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Team Canada’s head coach Troy Ryan talks with players before the start of the of the Rivalry Series at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 3, 2020. Ryan of Spryfield, N.S., has been named head coach of Canada’s women’s hockey team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Troy Ryan to coach Canadian women’s hockey team in 2022 Winter Olympics

Ryan was Canada’s assistant coach from 2016 to 2019

FILE- In this April 19, 2021, file photo, people wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus wait to test for COVID-19 at a hospital in Hyderabad, India. Misinformation about the coronavirus is surging in India as the death toll from COVID-19 rises. Fueled by anguish, distrust and political polarization, the claims are further compounding India’s crisis. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A, File)
Misinformation surges amid India’s COVID-19 calamity

Distrust of Western vaccines and health care also driving misinformation

FILE - In this Friday March 6, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry visits the Silverstone Circuit, in Towcester, England. In an episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast broadcast Thursday, May 13, 2021, Prince Harry compared his royal experience to being on “The Truman Show” and “living in a zoo.” (Peter Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Prince Harry thought about quitting royal life in his 20s

Feared his family would have to deal with the same spotlight that was on his late mother

Mental health: Gossiping, backbiting and forming factions is unhealthy

We all know of dysfunctional organizations, which can be as troublesome as… Continue reading

Family practice physician Christina Tuomi, D.O., (right) gets Homer's first dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Emergency Department nurse Steve Hughes (left) on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer, Alaska. Tuomi has been the hospital's medical lead throughout the pandemic. (Photo courtesy Derotha Ferraro/South Peninsula Hospital)
Alberta physicians: Vaccines are our path forward

As the AMA representatives for Alberta’s family physicians, we were immensely relieved… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Nils Hoglander, right, is checked by Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during third-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday, May 13, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Lindholm, Tkachuk lead Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over Vancouver Canucks

Most Read