Traditional Remembrance Day events return, new Sarnia crosswalk unveiled

Sarnia’s annual candlelight salute will return ahead of the traditional Memorial Day event, which includes the unveiling of the Veterans Park crosswalk.

Sarnia Legion Branch 62 president Les Jones said the candlelight salute had not been held in the past three years, so they were delighted to welcome the public back.

Participants will meet at City Hall on Thursday at 7 p.m. and will walk to the Legion Memorial on Front Street for the ceremony. The minimum donation for candles is $5.

“We will have a short ceremony in front of the monument where we will light candles and local cadet classes will be vigil throughout the night until the next morning,” Jones said.

Friday’s service will follow the Memorial Day parade, which will begin shortly after 10:30 a.m.

The parade will travel south on Front Street, east on George Street and south on Christina Street to Wellington Street.

Although the full ceremony took place on November 11 last year, only a few people were allowed to return to the regiment after the ceremony due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“This year, we’re happy there are no restrictions, so we’re looking forward to public support,” Jones said. “Then people were invited back to the Legion to share some stories and camaraderie.”

The Corps will also work with the city of Sarnia to launch a commemorative pedestrian crossing on Friday. Veterans Park Crosswalk is located in front of Sarnia Library, on the corner of Wellington Street and Christina Street.

“The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Brian White to create a crosswalk in honor of veterans. They consulted with us on the design,” Jones said. “We’re excited to unveil it on Memorial Day.

Veterans Park Crosswalk. (Photo courtesy of the 62nd Division of the Sarnia Regiment via Facebook)

62 Branch worked with the city to come up with the design.

It was initially suggested to include poppies, but Jones said the Royal Canadian Legion considers it a shame to walk or drive on the commemorative symbol.

Instead, banners with red and white stripes were chosen across the crosswalk, with the words “Lest We Forget”. The colors represent the Canadian flag and the national color of the country, the color of peace, and red also represents the blood shed by veterans.

Aamjiwnaang’s Remembrance Day ceremony will be held at the monument on Tashmoo Avenue at 11am on Thursday.

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