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Remembrance Day service moving inside to Sarnia Arena this year

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Pam Wright

Sarnia will move indoors to mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War on Remembrance Day this year.

City council has approved a request from the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 62, to hold the service at the Sarnia Arena.

The city also waived about $3,200 in fees normally charged to use the Brock Street arena.

Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday this year and marks a major anniversary, so Legion organizers are expecting more people — especially school children — to attend, Legion vice-president Bill Chafe told council.

They also hope to avoid any risk to parade marchers posed by bad weather, he added.

“This is one year only,” he said, noting Remembrance Day ceremonies will return to the Cenotaph in 2019.

“We want to honour the brave young Sarnians who answered the call of our young nation and never returned home,” Chafe said, adding we need to honour, respect and pray for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Chafe said a smaller wreath-laying ceremony still take place at the Cenotaph on Nov. 11, prior to the arena service.

An overnight candlelight vigil that begins annually the evening of Nov. 10 and runs until dawn at the Front Street Legion Hall will be unaffected by the switch.

Chafe, who also serves as parade marshal on Remembrance Day, said veterans will march into the arena and the main wreath-laying ceremony will follow.

Sarnia Arena has seating capacity for about 2,300, more than double the number that normally attends the park service.

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