Air Force flybys give public focus to physically distanced Remembrance Day ceremonies

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VANCOUVER — Remembrance Day services will look much different this year as restrictions due to the pandemic force many changes but Canada's Air Force hopes its efforts will help honour war veterans.

The Royal Canadian Air Force says it will conduct flybys in several locations across Canada, including four over Vancouver Island and two above Metro Vancouver.

A statement from National Defence says the RCAF encourages Canadians to mark Remembrance Day from their homes to the greatest extent possible, while watching the aircraft in accordance with public health guidelines.

A turboprop Buffalo aircraft will fly over Campbell River, military helicopters will conduct flybys over Courtenay, Cumberland and Sidney and the four-engine Aurora patrol aircraft will visit Port Moody and Vancouver.

The RCAF says all its aircraft will pass at minimum altitudes over each community, although weather and flying conditions will affect each of the flights.

Small ceremonies with a handful of participants will be held at many cenotaphs in B.C. but public attendance is not allowed, and the president of the Kamloops Legion says the BC Command of the Royal Canadian Legion has asked all branches to remain closed Wednesday to ensure there are no large gatherings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press