Let Us Always Remember

Let Us Always Remember
Posted on 12/06/2017
Remembrance Day ImageWritten by Sofia Stocco, Student Journalist

On Friday, November 10, St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Barrie held two assemblies to remember the lives lost and the sacrifices made by Canada’s armed forces throughout history in the effort for freedom. In preparation for this early Remembrance Day celebration, videoclip announcements that depicted interviews with veterans from several wars were played throughout the week, and at the ceremony poetry was recited, photos shared from last year’s Vimy Ridge class trip, and O Canada was played by the band. We were even fortunate enough to have a military member of the Canadian Armed Forces attend our early Remembrance Day ceremony.

Because Remembrance Day fell on a weekend this year, St. Joseph’s staff and students gathered on the Friday before to commemorate this important day as a school community. Students were also encouraged to attend Barrie’s celebration on Saturday, November 11th at the Cenotaph.

In order to prepare for this historic and sentimental event, every morning leading up to the Friday celebration a video announcement was played, which was a clip of an interview with a veteran. Students became more informed and aware of the importance of Remembrance Day by listening and watching these video clips by former military members in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the struggle in Afghanistan. They emotionally described their difficulties and the true hardships of fighting for freedom and losing loved ones. These announcements set the tone for this somber day and students felt bonded remembering what they are so fortunate to have, such as peace, freedom, and safety.

The Remembrance Day assembly was organized by the History department at St. Joseph’s. It began with a slideshow of photos of St. Joe’s students at Vimy Ridge and the French countryside, which were taken last year when our school sent a group of students overseas for the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge battle.

After the slide show, poetry was read for the school community to reflect upon, including In Flanders’ Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae and the best known reply-poem, We shall keep the faith, by Moina Michael. History teacher Mr. Carter and our school’s Chaplain gave a speech and a prayer, respectively.

We were also fortunate to welcome a member of the Canadian Armed Forces to our Remembrance Day ceremony. The military presence added to the realness and importance of this assembly, and many students thanked our visitor for his service. After the minute of silence, Ms. Tamburri assembled the school band of over 60 students to play O Canada.

Staff and students alike were happy that the St. Joe's community could come together not only as Canadians, but as members of humanity to take the time to reflect and remember the sacrifices made, the battles fought, and the lives lost in order for us to enjoy the peaceful, safe lives we lead today. Lest we forget.