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2020 A DIFFERENT YEAR

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This event started in 2018 in preparation to 2023, the 150th anniversary of the RCMP. Due to COVID 19 pandemic, this year’s version was very much abbreviated.

Normally the program is the following:
 
The lowering and raising of the flags were the same this year;  

The vigil is usually from 6:00 to 11:00; sentries change every 30 minutes. This year, the vigil was 30 minutes only, from 6:00 to 6:30 with no change of sentries;  

The historical walking tour is usually a guided visit from 10:00 to 10:45. Six members in a section of the cemetery are identified and their story is told by a veteran and personnel at Beechwood. A brochure is also is also produced.

This year all was online;  

The wreath-laying ceremony:
Lasted approximately 18 minutes, with a group of 10 people as allowed by the Ottawa Public Health authorities.  Normally, the ceremony is from 11:00 until 11:45 and includes families, dignitaries, senior officials, international partners, veterans, serving members, etc.  

Historical recognition:
Last year, we unveiled the plaques of three members who were awarded the Victoria Cross. This year we had to postpone the unveiling of a plaque to recognize the many RCMP members who volunteered for the No.1 Provost Company (RCMP) as part of the Canadian 1st Infantry Division. We were to particularly recognize the members who were killed while serving in the Provost Company during that war.

Our plan is to do it in 2021 as the Liberation of Holland should be celebrated at a 75+1 commemoration.    

It has been a different experience but more than worthwhile than ever in these challenging and difficult times.