Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #11, 2645 Vermilion Army Cadets and guests visited V.E.S, St. Jerome’s and J.R. Robson schools on November 8, honouring Canadian Veterans and the present Canadian military who continue to serve.
The VES Remembrance Day ceremony opened with the March of Colours and O’Canada. A tribute was paid to Nick Kulbisky, ‘Highway of Heroes’ was sung by the VES choir. A minute of silence was followed by a commitment to remember and wreath-laying by students. The ceremony ended with the song ‘Soldiers Cry’ sung by the VES K-6 choir.
St. Jerome’s School remembered women’s role in the Canadian Forces today and ‘I will remember you’ by Sarah McLachlan was played for a packed gymnasium at St. Jerome’s School as everyone watched a video and reflected in silence.
Shae Collins and Breanna Maughan acted as MC for the ceremonies. After the March of Colours, the Vermilion Royal Canadian Legion was piped in by Barry Roth, Cheradyn Bessette, Sadie Granigan and Marie Pottle leading into “O Canada.” A Remembrance Day message was read from MLA Dr. Richard Starke. The students showed respect during the solemn portion of the service as the “Act of Remembrance – The Ode” was read by Ethan Campbell.
Two students from each class laid wreaths and the ceremony ended with the Grade 4 class leading those gathered in the singing of “God Save the Queen” and the Marching out of the Colours.
J.R. Robson School learned about Canada’s role in the Cold War when guest speaker Veteran Delano Winston spoke about his experiences.
“It is the soldiers who have given us our freedom,” he said as he urged students to remember.
Students from all schools took time in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day to learn about its significance as they created artwork and made wreaths.
The poem In Flanders Fields written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was also recited for students.
Between 1914 and 1918, over 650,000 Canadians served at home and overseas, with both Canadian and British land, air, and naval forces. Along the Western Front in Belgium and France, Canadian soldiers distinguished themselves in numerous battles, including Second Ypres (1915), Vimy Ridge (1917), and Passchendaele (1917).
In the last Hundred Days of the First World War, Canadian “shock troops” played a major role in breaking through the enemy’s trench defenses.
On September 3 a combined Canadian, British and American force made the first full-scale invasion of mainland Europe, attacking on the 'toe' of Italy and reaching Naples on October 1. Canadian troops fought at Ortona and Monte Cassino and in May 1944 took part in the costly, but successful, attack on the Hitler line: the first major operation by a Canadian corps in the 1939 -1945 War. The battle northwards through Italy continued to the war's end and ultimately cost the lives of nearly 6,000 Canadians.