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No parade at Vaughan’s legion for this year’s Remembrance Day

Branch 414 is throwing dinner for the first time in 2 years for its veterans
Oct. 28, 2021
Dina Al-Shibeeb

Like last year, COVID-19 is still affecting the way Remembrance Day is carried out in Vaughan.

“At the Royal Canadian Legion (Vaughan), we're not having a parade this year, obviously due to COVID-19,” said Warrant Officer CD2 Wali Mohamed, president (voluntary position) of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 414 in Woodbridge.

“But we are going to have a Remembrance ceremony here at the legion, at Branch 414, at the normal time. We will be gathering around 10:50 (a.m.) to begin the Remembrance Day ceremony (Nov. 11).”

Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, is commemorated every Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in Canada. It marks the end of hostilities during the First World War and an opportunity to recall all those who have served in Canada’s defence.

Mohamed, whose military life spans at least 33 years, said that Vaughan’s mayor, council members, MPs, and MPPs are invited to attend.

“Of course, it's open to the public. And we're hoping not to have more than 100 folks,” he said, adding that last year, there were 60 people who attended.

This year is also going to be different since it would mark the “100th anniversary of the poppy,” he said. “So, we're also going to be commemorating that.”

"And our wreaths are all pre-laid prior to the ceremony. There are 10 wreaths that are going to be laid by dignitaries after the ceremony is done, but that's pretty much it,” he said. “We're going to keep it very simple, very short, nothing too, too long, obviously due to COVID protocols."

This year, however, the legion is throwing dinner for the first time in two years for its veterans, keeping in mind COVID-19 protocols. The dinner is going to take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m., with each person paying $25 each. Masks are required with the limit capped to 50 people.

Before COVID-19, Branch 414 saw nearly 500 people commemorate Remembrance Day in 2019.