The National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa

On November 11th each year, Canadians stand in collective Remembrance of all who have fallen in the military service of their country. 

The Legion, on behalf of the people of Canada, organizes and conducts the National Remembrance Day service in Ottawa.


Remembrance Day 2019 Tomb of Unknown Soldier

    2020 National Remembrance Day Ceremony Overview

    The importance of a live ceremony honouring our Veterans and their sacrifices is considered paramount by the Legion, especially during the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.  As so many other commemorations have either been cancelled or delayed by the current pandemic the symbology of our Legions and community leaders paying homage to past sacrifices and before the eyes of those that served is more important now than ever.  Our pledge to never forget echoes loudly throughout a land that has been immersed in isolation with a population whose focus is far from the events that we honour with this ceremony. 

    The 2020 National Remembrance Ceremony will be conducted live at the National War Memorial on 11 Nov 2020.  The following outlines the plan that will allow many elements of the previously conducted ceremony to take place while working within the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic.

    Contributing Factors

    The planning of the National Remembrance Ceremony has taken into consideration the following restrictions imposed by the Regional and Provincial health authorities as a result of the current pandemic:

    • The Government and local health authorities direction on the limit on outside gatherings.
    • The restrictions imposed on indoor gatherings.
    • The requirement to physically distance between individuals to a minimum of six feet or two meters.
    • The requirement to wear protective masks.
    • Members of the Cadet and Junior rangers are prohibited from participating in such activities as remembrance ceremonies.
    • Many of our Veterans and members are in the demographic most affected by the current pandemic.
    • The Canadian Armed Forces abides by the restrictions imposed by the local health authorities and are therefore limiting numbers and marching formations. 

    Changes to the Content of the Ceremony

    The conduct of the National Ceremony will follow the standard format but modified to conform to the local restrictions as follows:

    • Ceremony Participants: The maximum amount for an outside gathering is 100.
    • Location: The ceremony will take place at the National War Memorial on 11 November.
    • Veterans' Parade:  There will be no Veteran’s parade.
    • Canadian Armed Forces: There will be no CAF parade.
    • Colour Party: Reduced to Canadian, Legion, Union Jack, Red Ensign, NATO & UN)
    • Canadian Armed Forces: Four armed sentries and one sentinel (Nursing Sister) posted by Canadian Armed Forces.
    • Other:  One trumpeter, one piper to play the Lament, flag orderly to lower and raise the Canadian flag.
    • Vice Regal Party: standing in front of and facing Memorial.  Their wreaths are prepositioned so no assistant wreath bearer is required.
    • Wreath Bearers: The majority of wreaths are to be preplaced at the memorial prior to the ceremony.  Those wanting to place the wreath personally can do so after the ceremony concludes.  Acknowledgement of preplaced wreaths will be placed on our  website.
    • Spectators:  Discouraged from attending due to the limited space and the requirement to physically distance. 
    • Media:  Media are invited to attend however for a national broadcast we have yet to receive confirmation.  We will be broadcasting via Facebook Live regardless.

    Questions:  Questions can be directed towards or 

    The modifications in our planning and conduct of the National Remembrance Day Ceremony are difficult but not insurmountable.  Following the local area restrictions imposed due to the pandemic  remains paramount in concern of the safety of all involved.  However with a reduction in people at the ceremony location and an adjustment in the format will allow us to honour our Veterans and the sacrifices made regardless of the pandemic.


    Participate in the Act of Remembrance



    Watch the Ceremony Live

    On November 11, starting at 10:45 am, watch the National Remembrance Day Ceremony live on the Legion’s Facebook page. Stay tuned for details…


    Observe 2 Minutes of Silence

    On November 11 at 11:00 am, join millions of Canadians in observing two minutes of silence to honour, remember and thank all who served and sacrificed. Remember…

      Ceremony Program Schedule

      Ceremony starts at approximately 10:45 am

      • Arrival of Dignitaries
      • O Canada
      • Last Post
      • (11:00 am) Two Minutes of Silence
      • Lament
      • Rouse
      • Act of Remembrance
      • Prayers
      • Placing of Wreaths
      • Benediction
      • God Save the Queen
      • Dignitaries depart and ceremony concludes

        Road Closures  

        To ensure social distancing, the City of Ottawa will restrict road and pedestrian access around the National War Memorial before and during the ceremony.

        Details will be provided when available.