April 12th, 2024

City schools staging remembrance ceremonies

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on November 8, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Area schools are preparing to commemorate Remembrance Day.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

With Remembrance Day around the corner, schools across the city are preparing for their own unique ceremonies to honour veterans who live within the community and those who are no longer with us.

Father Leonard Van Tighem School will be honouring Jeff Alden with the Royal Canadian Legion General Stewart Branch No. 4, FLVT’s First Nations, Metis, Inuit support worker and veteran Kendrick Fox, and students who are cadets, Scouts and Girl Guides during their Remembrance Day ceremony Thursday.

Grade 9 homeroom teacher Michele Hammel told the Herald her Grade 9 students along with their Grade 2 buddies, will be hosting the ceremony and have been preparing for weeks.

“With the Grade 2 students we’ve recorded the classes reciting the poem In Flanders Fields, and the Grade 2 students are going to be singing a song during the ceremony. My Grade 9 students are doing all of the readings for us, including our prayers and praise of the faithful,” said Hammel.

She said they will be asking their veterans and scouts to be at the front during the singing of O Canada to be honoured. And they will be showing some musical videos before and after the two-minute silence at 11 a.m.

Hammel said students and staff have been preparing for Remembrance Day by creating a variety of poppy crafts, bulletin boards and doing different in-class activities and learning about the importance of honouring those who paid the ultimate price.

Close by at Nicholas Sheran Elementary School, students and staff have also been preparing a ceremony in honour of veterans, which will take place Thursday morning. Music teacher Owen Sheedy said he has been working with the choir in preparation.

“We’ve got about 80 kids that are going to be performing at the Remembrance Day ceremony and that’ll be our first performance of the year. I know parents will be excited for that.”

Speedy said Grade 5 students will be masters of ceremonies, Grade 3 students will be reading a poem and everyone has been preparing for the last couple of weeks.

He said they had invited seniors from Age Care Columbia to attend their ceremony and unfortunately they were unable to join them. But even though that part of the program was cancelled, some members of the school community are being honoured.

“I was in the Army Reserve for six years as a musician there so it’s a little bit personal for me,” said Sheedy.

Co-organizer and learning support teacher, Nadia Britton said that even though this year they do not have specific veterans being honoured at their ceremony, they had some veterans’ parents in the past who attended their ceremonies.

“I’ve been spending time getting the kids ready with the colour guard, but unfortunately we’ve seen a dwindling in numbers with kids who are in Cubs and Scouts and cadets and those types of things, so this year we’ll have representatives from each grade level present a wreath at the assembly,” said Britton.

She said students and teachers have been preparing for Remembrance Day by learning about the anniversary of the United Nations, which is their theme this year. She said every few years they change the theme to something related to Remembrance Day. Last year they learned all about poppies.

“Talking about the anniversary of the UN this year, they’ve been talking about peacekeeping,” said Britton.

 She said younger students are learning about the different roles that animals played during wars because for them war might be a hard concept to understand, but it is important for them to learn why they have the privileges they have in Canada.

 “It’s really important for them to know and understand why they live in an amazing place like Canada where they can go to school every day, they can choose their friends, go to church and go to the clubs that they want to go to, and how all of those things are possible because there have been people that fought to make those things happen,” said Britton.

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