The Commemoration Day Virtual Service began during the first year of the pandemic. Everything had been shut down, including all of the activities of Royal Canadian Legion US Branch #25. When the closure began in March our members watched as the annual inspection of our local division of sea cadets cancelled. Then March became April, and then May – and the annual ANZAC Day events and our US Memorial Day service were both cancelled. By June, the branch had cancelled its third monthly membership meetings, and planning to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, which occurred in San Francisco, was postponed indefinitely.
Around that time a Canadian ex-pat organization called the Digital Moose Lounge contacted us to see if the branch wanted to participate in the virtual Canada Day celebration that they were planning. One of our executive at the time was a native Newfoundlander, and we saw an opportunity. As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are aware, in addition to being Canada Day, July 1st is also Memorial Day or Commemoration Day in the province – a day when we remember the tragic events of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. To honour that tradition, and as a way to begin to engage both the members of our branch and our local cadets again, we sought to create a virtual sunrise service for Commemoration Day.
The tradition of this virtual service continues as a way to engage our members who are not local to the Bay Area. Branch 25 is in the process of planning its annual Commemoration Day virtual service. The virtual service will feature individual videos combined into a single virtual service. As such, we are asking our members to submit four videos for inclusion in the service:
- a video where you holds a salute for approximately 30 seconds (as if holding the salute during an anthem or for the Last Post)
- a video where you say “Lest we forget”
- a video where you say “We will remember them”
- a video where you say “Happy Canada Day”
You do not need special equipment to record these videos. A cell phone or tablet video is fine. We just ask that videos be taken in landscape format, not in portrait.
If possible, dress in their Legion uniform. However, any formal attire is appropriate.
Videos can be uploaded to https://tinyurl.com/RCLcommemorationday2023