COQUITLAM, B.C., Nov. 2, 2020 – Coquitlam residents are encouraged to honour veterans in meaningful ways this Remembrance Day.
Coquitlam’s traditional Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11 – which typically attracts thousands to the Blue Mountain Park cenotaph – will not take place this year in order to protect public health and comply with the Provincial Health Order banning gatherings of more than 50 people.
Recognizing the importance of the day, the City of Coquitlam is providing a variety of safe options for residents, including sponsoring a meal for veterans, displaying poppy posters, submitting messages and letters of remembrance, and supporting the Coquitlam Royal Canadian Legion Branch 263.
Honouring Veterans Safely
To mark Remembrance Day and the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Coquitlam will lower the flags at City Hall and at Blue Mountain Park on Nov. 11 but hold no formal event. In recognition of the achievements and sacrifices of those who have served our nation in times of war and military conflict, the City is encouraging residents to show their respect for veterans in other ways this year. Some ideas:
- Sponsor a meal: UPDATE – Sponsorship capacity has been reached. Thank you to our Coquitlam Community for the overwhelming support. In collaboration with Legion Branch 263, the City’s Meals for Seniors delivery and pickup program will provide free meals on Tuesday, Nov. 10 to Coquitlam veterans, who number about 40. Coquitlam City Council members will assist in delivering the meals. Those who wish to show their gratitude for veterans are invited to sponsor the cost of one or more meals, at $7.50 each, by calling 604-927-4386. Credit card payment will be required.
- Letters of Remembrance: Similar to the Letters of Kindness program, submit a letter, poem or artwork to email@example.com to include in meal deliveries for veterans.
- Place your poppy: Join in this campaign to display poppy images throughout the community to show gratitude for veterans, similar to the Hearts for Healthcare campaign. Look for the full-page ad with a large poppy in the Tri-City News on Nov. 5, or go to the Community Support section at www.coquitlam.ca/spirit to download a poppy image. Then post the image in your window or somewhere visible to others.
- Messages of Remembrance and Veterans Way Display: Submit a message of remembrance to firstname.lastname@example.org to have City staff tie it to trees along Veterans Way in Blue Mountain Park. Veterans Way will also feature other elements developed over the years to commemorate Remembrance Day, including poppies painted on the grass, poppy flags created by residents and Coquitlam Remembers fence panels. Drive or walk through the display from Nov. 1 to 10.
Residents can also support the Coquitlam Legion, and support programs for veterans, as follows:
- Donate to the poppy drive: This year the Coquitlam Legion’s annual poppy drive, its primary fundraiser for veteran supports, will include a drive-by poppy booth at 1025 Ridgeway Ave. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 7 and 8. Poppy masks are also available at the branch for $10 while supplies last.
- Order a wreath: Wreaths in three sizes can be ordered from the Coquitlam Legion until Nov. 6, with the option of having it laid at the cenotaph on your behalf. Drop by the branch at 1025 Ridgeway Ave., call 604-937-0111 or email email@example.com.
- Join the Coquitlam Legion: Anyone can become a member of the Legion, with fees supporting a variety of programs for veterans and their families. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 604-937-0111 or go to www.rclegion263.ca.
Other Options for Nov. 11:
- Gather the household together for two minutes of silence to honour and remember those who have fallen in service for the country. Residents across the City are invited to join Legion Branch 263 members in spirit by observing two minutes of silence on their front porch at 11 a.m. For a silent video to reflect upon, visit the Two Minutes of Silence page at www.legion.ca/remembrance.
- Tune in to the federal Remembrance Day ceremony on television or online.
- Read about the lives of Coquitlam soldiers in the First World War in the Coquitlam Archives online exhibit "Don't Forget Your Dadie": A Coquitlam Family & The First World War at http://www.coquitlam.ca/cityarchives .
- Visit the websites of the Royal Canadian Legion at www.legion.ca/remembrance, Veterans Affairs Canada at www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance or the Canadian War Museum at www.warmuseum.ca for articles and information.
Honouring Veterans Throughout the Year
The City commemorates the lives of fallen Coquitlam soldiers on rolls of honour on the second floor of City Hall, and at the cenotaph at Blue Mountain Park, open year-round. Those who wish to visit the cenotaph for a moment of silence or to lay a wreath to commemorate Remembrance Day are encouraged to do so before or after Nov. 11 to help prevent gatherings.
Coquitlam continues to provide free parking in City lots and street parking spaces for those displaying a veteran’s licence plate, a tradition started in 2006. This show of respect is reserved for the City’s most honoured residents, including those who receive the Freedom of the City commendation. For information, visit the Parking Regulations section at www.coquitlam.ca/parking.
Manager, Corporate Communications
City of Coquitlam