Saturday, 12 November 2011

Remembrance Day - Truly a time to reflect!

There are parts of my role as a Trustee that I dislike but then there are opportunities that reminds me how fortunate and privileged I am to have this role - Remembrance Day is one of those times!

I would like to thank Courcelette Public School for letting me attend their ceremonies and a special thank you to Principal Captsis for making me a special guest along with the veterans.

Mr. Alex Napier, who led the procession, is one of the most devoted volunteers as the school. I would wonder if anyone could actually calculate the hours he has spent at the school? He will be turning 97 this week and he contributes so much to the life of the school through his commitment to having students read to him every week.

Courcelette is celebrating their 100th anniversary this year so their school history is unique in that they actually have their front hallway dedicated to former students who lost their lives in World War I and II.

No one can bring history to life like someone who has lived through it!

Mr. Napier was interviewed for the program and it was extremely moving. The students are well served in having him as a living history book - the kids have the opportunity as we saw during the ceremony to ask simple questions from: "what did you eat? were you scared? what does it feel like to be so far away from home?" Somehow in this generation of multi-media - the in-person encounter is STILL more moving. I would like to thank the staff for documenting Mr. Napier's story as we don't know how long he will be with us but based on his attitude and service to students I hope we have him for many more years.

Of course it was sad to reflect that we lost one more veteran this year that attended the ceremonies in the past - as I reflected on their commitment it is hard to imagine what it was like all those years ago, but how amazing it is to have a day to truly reflect on their service.

As a final tribute there was the release of 21 doves to salute the veterans in attendance as well as those that are no longer with us. They made a great sacrifice for us to enjoy the freedoms we have in Canada.
Let us NOT forget the sacrifices that they made so that Canada remains the Peace Maker of the world.
Let us NOT lose sight of the things that are important - a land where people are free to be their best!

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