WEST CARLETON – West Carleton’s largest single-day event, the West Carleton War Memorial Remembrance Day Service, will have a different look this year as it adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The memorial, dedicated in 2016, has quickly become the site of West Carleton’s largest memorial service, drawing as many as 4,000 people making it the largest single-day annual event held in West Carleton.
This year’s service on Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) will have a much different look to it as West Carleton residents look to remember the sacrifice our armed forces have made in the battle for peace.
“The plan is to livestream a service with only 10 people onsite,” West Carleton War Memorial service volunteer Stuart Hodge told West Carleton Online today (Aug. 10). “Rather than a mass gathering, the alternative will be a virtual live-streamed ceremony. No public will be able to be on site, but we will continue to honour the fallen on the 11th hour, 11th day and on the 11th month.”
In 2016 the site was inaugurated and had its first service that same year.
“Since then, the Village of Carp has embraced the memorial site, sometimes having 3,000 to 4,000 people on site for the service,” Hodge said. “Typically there would be 200 seats for elderly and veterans, bleachers and standing room. Social distancing would be very hard to do and we suspect no changes to COVID-19 restrictions between now and November.”
Another challenge the organizing committee is facing is the lead organizer Peter Maddocks has been in hospital dealing with a heart issue.
“Peter is doing well,” Stuart reports. “Open heart surgery, leaky valve and a blocked artery replaced. We wish him well.”
Organizers are preparing for a 30-minute service. This year the service falls o a Wednesday, and Hodge says the committee is working with the city to arrange for road closures “primarily for silence.”
Road closures are expected from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
“We hope to close the bottom of Falldown Lane beside the memorial,” Hodge said. “Carp Road would be closed up to both Falldown Lanes and Donald B. Munro Drive,” he said. “The closures are not definite as yet. We are still working with the city.”
While the memorial may be closed for the service he reminds “people are welcome to visit the site anytime we just ask them to stay away during the streamed service.”