It was a subdued crowd of approximately 100 people who showed up on November 11th at the Sturgeon Falls cenotaph for Remembrance Day. This is the second year the event had to be held outside, due to COVID, and while the assemblage was greater than that in 2020, there were fewer older veterans. Notable was the absence of veteran Lionel Davidson, a long time fixture at local ceremonies. In his place, a young cadet and another attendee recited In Flanders Fields in both official languages.
The ceremonies were directed by RCL 225 president Lori Richer. In attendance were numerous officials, including WN Mayor Joanne Savage and Deputy Mayor Yvon Duhaime, MPP John Vanthof, OPP Nipissing West Detachment Commander Insp. Michael Maville, WN Fire Chief Richard Maranda, and representatives from 22 Wing Command, Knights of Columbus and Masonic Lodge, all of them laying wreaths on behalf of their organizations. Barb Chartrand laid the wreath for Silver Cross Mothers and War Brides.
The solemn event saw attendees standing for an hour, spread out in the field and parking lot at the Legion, keeping distance from each other as required by COVID safety measures, and wearing masks. Despite some initial problems with the sound system, the issues were quickly resolved. The weather was cooperative, cool and windy, sometimes blowing over the wreaths lain at the foot of the cenotaph. What marked this year, as the second year under COVID-restrictions, was the feeling of deep and subdued respect as people stood throughout the entire proceedings, lending their support to the few remaining veterans of the older engagements. Younger veterans and enlisted personnel were also there, some with young families, along with cadets.
While there was no parade, no colour guard and no piper as in previous years, there was a trumpeter for the playing of Taps, and a hearty rendition of Oh Canada, backed by sound recordings. President Lori Richer also made note that in previous years, the Legion always held a luncheon for the participants at the hall, and this year, for the second time, the luncheon was cancelled due to COVID.