For their Tomorrow, We gave our Today

| November 12, 2013

 

Fox Creek School Remembrance Day Ceremony

As dignitaries marched, one foot in front of the other with the utmost of respect, the March of Colors was led by our RCMP Regiment in their serge attire, Royal Canadian Legion Branch #280 members Fox Creek Fire Department and EMT, 1st Fox Creek Scouts and Iosegun Girl Guides District members.

School music selections; ‘’Why do we have Remembrance Day?,” was performed by the grade three class, “Take one minute to stand” by the grade five class, “Highway of Heores” by the grade six class, “Unity” performed by the school choir, “Note to the unknown soldier”  by the grade seven class . ‘In Flanders Fields’ was recited by the grade four class.

Poignant videos: “Standing Strong and True,” “Highway of Heroes,” “Amazing Grace” and “I’m gonna try and change the world” a video of student’s thoughts, was played at the school.

Presentation of wreaths was done by the Legion, RCMP, town, school, Fire Department, EMS and 1st Fox Creek Scouts.

Standing Strong & True

A Tribute to Corporal Brett Lamb

By Teacher Colleen Slocum

Teacher Colleen Slocum awed the crows with her special presentation to Cpl. Brett Lamb, absent from the ceremony as his newborn son was born the night before, accepting his award his father Jim, brother Chace and nephew Brooks.

Teacher Colleen Slocum awed the crows with her special presentation to Cpl. Brett Lamb, absent from the ceremony as his newborn son was born the night before, accepting his award his father Jim, brother Chace and nephew Brooks.

Today I have the honour of speaking about a man who is a son, brother, uncle, a husband and most recently a dad!  While these may be his most important roles, we cannot forget that this man is a soldier…and a hero. Due to the arrival of his son last night Brett cannot be here today to receive this award.

Brett Lamb is a name many of us in the community know. To many, Brett is just a regular guy: a person they see at the hockey arena, a young guy that works for Rival Trucking, someone dedicated to helping his community and its members, no matter their age.

To those who know him well, they would say he is sincere, caring, and generous.  I had the privilege of meeting Brett one summer, many years ago, and I really came to know him through the love of his family. When I mentioned his name among our students, many of them had nothing but great things to say.

I had the pleasure of teaching Brett’s siblings, Hunter, Kolby and Mathea during my first full year of teaching, in Valleyview.  The triplets had just left Fox Creek School, so we had a community connection. I remember the Remembrance Day of that year vividly.  My class was talking about Veterans and Wars as they were working on writing letters about the effect of wars.

The moment I will remember for many years to come took place when one student said to me “Ms. Slocum, why should I care about soldiers dying? I don’t know any of them, so it doesn’t really affect me!”  In that instant, only the triplets and I knew the significance and the impact of what was being said.

Only Hunter, Kolby and Mathea would realize the effect this had on them as young, yet mature, grade 7 students. At that moment the room went silent.  I’m sure everyone stopped breathing! Before I could respond to this student, one of the triplets stood up, turned to face him, and read their letter about Remembrance Day.

Please forgive the paraphrasing, but it read something like this:

When Brett served in Afghanistan, yellow ribbons were tied around town and the highway 43 in his honor.

When Brett served in Afghanistan, yellow ribbons were tied around town and the highway 43 in his honor.

“Today is a sad day for me and my family. We have put up yellow ribbons in Fox Creek to support the troops because my brother Brett is over in Afghanistan fighting.

He may not come home. I hope the fighting will end soon because we miss him.  He is my hero because he fights for me and our country.  But better then my hero, he is my brother and I want him to come home! We love him and miss him! I hope he comes home for Christmas!“

I recognize, as a teacher, that this was a learning experience for my students and myself: we never know how something such as War can touch the life of someone around us.

Well Brett was in active duty that year so he didn’t make it home for Christmas that year, but he did celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan with some Canadian mittens. After a long period of time, far too long, Brett did return home.  He has since married a beautiful lady, Jamie, and yesterday their first baby, Edison Lamb was born.

Brett Lamb was born in Fox Creek, and despite moving away when he was five, he spent every summer growing up back in the community where he now lives, works, plays hockey, is involved in the community and is raising a family surrounded by those who love him.

When I spoke with his family about some ways they would describe Brett, they said “intense is a good word, but very passionate about what he believes in and caring!”

Brett’s Dad, Jim told me that the “whole family was extremely proud of Brett for his commitment to his country at the same time worried for what he would find there. I knew deep down, he said, that Brett would be ok in Afghanistan because he’s always been level headed and he proved that by graduating his combat training at the top of his class.”

I asked a special person in our Grade one class, Brooks, about Corporal Lamb, he looked at me puzzled and said “I don’t know who that is but my Uncle Brett is cool.”  I believe this speaks to Brett’s humility.  Perhaps there are many who do not know who Corporal Lamb is.

Brett served in the 1st battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI); he left at the rank of corporal. He served one tour in Afghanistan, in Kandahar province under Task Force Kandahar (TFK). This task force was the formed to conduct the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Kandahar Province.

Brooks, could not stop sharing about his Uncle Brett during our conversation.  “He is cool. He gives the best hugs and we like playing with blocks and hunting chickens. I don’t see him as much as I would like to but I’m glad he lives close so he can come to my hockey games.”

Brooks Lamb thinks his Uncle Brett is "pretty cool."

Brooks Lamb thinks his Uncle Brett is “pretty cool.”

I questioned Brooks about whether his uncle was a hero.  He said, “I’m not sure but I saw a painting of him in his uniform so he must be important.  He fought bad people far away so me and Lucah and Evanee can be safe! So we love him!”

Those may be the best words to describe Brett Lamb: fighting the bad to keep those he loves safe.

I would like to ask Brooks Lamb to come forward and bring his Dad and Papa Jim up to receive this award on behalf of his Uncle Brett!

For recognition of his service to his country and continued service to our community, we would like to present The Fox Creek School Hometown Hero Award to Brooks’ Uncle, Corporal Brett Lamb.

 

L: Cpl. Ryan Flood, our LAV III Gunner, Cpl. Matt Simpson our signaller, MCpl. Brad Lowes, Crew Commander and Cpl. Brett Lamb. Photo submitted.

L: Cpl. Ryan Flood, our LAV III Gunner, Cpl. Matt Simpson our signaller, MCpl. Brad Lowes, Crew Commander and Cpl. Brett Lamb. Photo submitted.

For their Tomorrow, We gave our Today.

By Brett Lamb,

read by his father Jim Lamb

 

Jim Lamb read his son Brett's speech in his absence at the school service.

Jim Lamb read his son Brett’s speech in his absence at the school service.

Good morning ladies and gentleman, I am reading this on behalf of my son, Brett Lamb.

He wishes he could be here today, but with the birth of his newborn son he wasn’t able to make it.

Today is about remembering the 100,000 Canadian men and women who have given their all to defend the values of justice, peace and security. They fought for Canada in WW1, WW2, the Korean War, peacekeeping activities and most recently Afghanistan. We remember those who laid down their lives and never came home. As well as Veterans who were wounded psychically and emotionally.

There is a famous phrase carved onto a memorial that reads: “When you go home, tell them of us and say: “For their tomorrow, we gave our today.”

It is important to remember the names, the individuals, those that gave their today for YOUR tomorrow. It’s easy to forget that wars of distant past were fought by men and women, no different than yourself. They had real families and friends. It’s easy to get caught up in the politics, the pageantry, the news clips, the history, but today is a day to remember the men and women who served, to remember the individual sacrifices, to morn and give a heartfelt thanks for the today they have left us. It’s a day to remember them so as we look to the future we will never forget.

I served with the infantry with the 1st battalion PPCLI and did a tour of duty in Afghanistan. I had friends who were killed wearing the maple leaf on their shoulder, trying to find peace and stability to people no different than you, trying to improve their tomorrow.

Cpl. Brett Lamb, Christmas Morning in Afghanistan, 2009.

Cpl. Brett Lamb, Christmas Morning in Afghanistan, 2009.

When I stand on Remembrance Day, I remember the names, I remember that they had hopes and dreams and a future like all of us in this room, but they paid the ultimate sacrifice, so we didn’t have to. When you stand this Remembrance Day to observe a moment of silence, I would like you to think.

Photo submitted

A training exercise in Hawaii, RIMPACE, Rim fo the Pacific Execirse, is the world’s lasrgest international Maritime Warfare Exercise. Brett was on the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship. Photo submitted

 

You can think of family members who have served or are serving in the military, veterans you have met or learned about but also think of their families who have had to sacrifice so much as well. And if you can’t think of anyone, you can think of my two friends, that I lost: Andrew Nuttel and Kevin McKay.

 

Just one last favor, when you do stand with your heads bowed, remembering these Canadians who died for all of us, I would like to ask you not to just walk away and forget….I’d ask you to hold their memory tight for the rest of the year.

 

Gifts presented in honor of Cpl. Brett Lamb.

Gifts presented in honor of Cpl. Brett Lamb.

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Category: Brandi, Education, School news, Special Feature

About the Author (Author Profile)

Brandi loves meeting people and sharing their stories. A country girl at heart, she appreciates the simple things in a complex world.

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  1. Bernice Slocum says:

    This is my daughter Colleen, who is a teacher at Fox Creek School, Just a short note to say how proud her father and I are of her for all the hard work she puts into her job, Thanks for publishing her efforts, so her parents back in Nova Scotia can share these memories with her! Thank You!!

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