Remembrance Day services took place today at Jack Acres Memorial Park, the first open for public attendance since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hosted by Beaver Valley Branch 281 of The Royal Canadian Legion, services began with the traditional parade and introductions from branch president Shawn McKinlay, Mayor Alar Soever, and Honorary Colonel Al Jones from Grey and Simcoe Foresters.
Father Grayhame Bowcott led the crowd of roughly 150 residents in singing the national anthem.
Olivia Eagles, a seventh grade student at Beaver Valley Community School, recited In Flanders Fields.
McKinlay and Bowcott led the service through The Veteran’s Prayer, as well as prayers for the fallen, for the armed forces, and for COVID-19 first responders.
Bowcott said that he felt good about Remembrance Day services opening back up to the public.
“The Blue Mountains is very much a community that has families with generations of support in military service, or having members serve themselves,” he said. “Today’s show of about 150 plus people demonstrates people have been longing to get back into familiar routines, come out and show their support and respect, so to be able to do that today feels great.”
“Last year, because of all the pandemic protocols, there were just eight of us and it was recorded.”
A single, symbolic wreath was laid in the service in lieu of the many that would normally be laid by community members to adhere to physical distancing.
The service closed with the singing of God Save the Queen.
Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca