Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembrance Day

We are reminded that Remembrance Day is nearing because of the red and black poppies that are on shirts, in stores and on the newspaper. I also was reminded of Remembrance Day because of the Remembrance Day assembly we had last Thursday. I remember the assemblies we had in elementary, they were pretty lovely. We carried candles, and sang songs and somebodies grandpa came in and told us stories about the war. It's very different in high school. We are filed down to the gym (a lot of kids just skip the assembly and leave) and we get in the fold out seats that were set up earlier (this is one of the only times in a year when more than 3 grades are in the gym together). The president of student council usually does the talking. We sing "Oh Canada", some kid from drama recites "In Flanders Fields" with umm.. gusto. Than some guy wearing a uniform tells us about the importance of remembering and if we don't remember then the souls of dead soldiers will come back from the graves and cause havoc on our brains. Well, not exactly the last part. But pretty much. Then we get some more war propaganda, and then we watch the worst music video in the world. Some old bearded guy is seeing about how we have to remember and if we don't little girls with big eyes will give us sad looks, and the ghosts of dead soldiers will march through the supermarkets and make everyone sad.

Don't think I'm anti-Remembrance Day. I think Remembrance Day is important. But I believe that we should be able to remember in any way we want. And we're remembering how horrible these wars were, how sad it must've been for the people who participated in them, their friends and relatives. Then we can reflect on our own lives, how we should try to preserve peace and how important peace is for everyone in the world. This isn't a time to force teenagers to do anything, they are allowed to reflect on this on their own way. It's great if you attend a remembrance day ceremony, but you don't have to. You just need to remember, in your own way. Today I stopped for a coffee in Kensington with my parents, and the store employees reminded us that there was a moment of silence in 10 minutes, at 11:00. At when it came to the moment of silence, the employees just turned the machines off and stood in a circle, silent. Soon everybody realized what was happening, and stopped talking. I thought it was cool that they didn't have an announcement, order anyone around or anything. A man walked in, during the moment of silence and he must've been very surprised. No music, or talking, or coffee machines. But he clued in, and stood in the middle of the floor, silent. I thought it was good, how remembrance day should be. There were no parades, or wreaths, or propaganda. Just people remembering in their own way, silent, thinking about what's important to them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or on the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That was a lovely thing for the coffee shop people to do. I have to admit I don't frequent assemblies either, but I do always stop for a minute of silence at 11:00 on Remembrance Day. Sometimes it's just me in front of the radio listening to the Last Post. Maybe that's what they should be doing in high schools.

hilary m. said...

We always turn the radio on (well the radio's usually on anyways) at 11 on remembrance day, and have the moment of silence. It's kinda of cool to have that time to think. I've always really liked the minute of silence. I think it would be a lot better if our school just read a couple poems and heard some stories, instead of having that navy guy show a silly music video.

Evelyne said...

I think that we should do it the way we want on Remembrance Day... and it is so different that what i was used to in elementary school and in high school, where we were doing nothing special... teachers talked to us about it but nothing more (and few of them talked about it)... no Oh Canada, candles, nothing... it so different that what you guys do for it... but i wished we did something special that day at school

hilary m. said...

Yeah, I really like the candles and stuff. It's nice to experience this, and it also helps you think. It's so much nicer to do that than to do nothing at all, or to have an assembly like we did this year.