Written by Emily Thouless, Student Journalist
At St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie, students and veterans alike were given a tremendous opportunity to talk, bond, and of course eat at this year’s second annual Veteran’s Breakfast! The breakfast, which was held just one week before Remembrance Day, was a fabulous kickstart to the school’s Remembrance Week activities and as our principal Mr. Bebie put it, “it was really about building a partnership between St. Peter’s and our veterans.”
Our very own office secretary Mrs. Belugas graciously came up with the idea for this event. When she heard of the typical Remembrance Day festivities last year, she wondered why we celebrate our veterans only one day out of the year, when in fact some of these brave men and women have spent their entire lives serving our country. After a little bit of planning, the Veteran’s Breakfast was born.
This year nineteen students who are travelling to the battlegrounds of Europe in April were invited to the Veteran’s Breakfast. The students will journey to England, France, and Belgium, leading up to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a battle that was pivotal in the first world war, and was only won because of the tremendous efforts of Canadian soldiers, and their leader, Canadian officer Arthur Currie. The students will take a specially designed history course on this battle and more of the areas they will be exploring in April. They were given this opportunity to speak with the veterans to get some perspective on the events involving the Canadian military and the role we play in the world today, as many of the visiting Veterans have visited the memorial and know first hand what to expect when travelling to different parts of the world.
Mr. Bebie, who is one of the three supervisors attending the trip with our students, expressed the importance of this meetup saying, “we could learn a lot about geography, peacekeeping, and the role our soldiers played in World War I and II from our veterans,” and that the whole point of the interaction was because “we really wanted our war veterans that were there to help us on our own journey to Vimy Ridge.”
The breakfast was a success, and all of the veterans were excited to hear that our students were going on what some people would call the trip of a lifetime. The breakfast brought together people of all ages, and the veterans not only promised to come back next year, but also promised to visit the students next semester as they prepare for a trip that they will surely never forget.