Remembrance Day plans in Trail are a bit different this year after the tragic events in Ottawa last month at the National War Memorial.
This year, Cadets Canada has issued a direction to all units across the country, including Trail’s 531 Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets, to remove their uniforms directly after Remembrance Day ceremonies.
Major Kevin DeBiasio, an area cadet instructor based in Trail, says it is all about taking extra precautions to keep members safe.
“(Removing uniforms) is our direction from the national headquarters,” he said. “As far as we know, it is just an abundance of precaution (after the Ottawa attacks). Everything else is basically the same, we are just being a little more vigilant.”
Greg Hill, president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 11 in Trail says the added precautions are something that is necessary to ensure safety.
“I really don’t blame them and I don’t blame the command for doing that,” he said. “I am just glad they are going to be in the ceremony. Honest to God, we just can’t take any chances.”
Cadets getting out of uniform directly after the parade and ceremony isn’t the only change to this year’s plan for Remembrance Day.
This year, the parade route through downtown Trail is shortened for security reasons, but also to maximize participation. The parade will start at the FortisBC building on the Esplanade, run up Eldorado Street to the cenotaph.
“We agreed (with the RCMP) on the shorter parade route because a lot of our older veterans can’t march the entire route,” said Hill. “It wasn’t the only reason, but it was another part of the decision making.”
Trail RCMP are tightening security on the parade route, and even at the cenotaph, but they are keeping their plans under wraps ahead of Remembrance Day.
“There is going to be heightened security at the cenotaph this year,” said Hill. “I am not at liberty to discuss anything about it, but the RCMP has already talked to us about it. That is their baby.”
Poppy distribution also took a back seat to safety this year, with a less than usual number of cadets joining the volunteers standing in front of local stores selling the lapel pins.
“We have to follow some very tight rules and not every unit was able to meet those requirements,” said Major DeBiasio. “It’s all about supervision. It’s all about the cadets being properly supervised and cared for.”
The Remembrance Day parade in Trail begins at 10:30 a.m. with the ceremony at the cenotaph directly after.