As we prepared to distribute poppies; I’m taking a few minutes to reflect…reflect upon, how do we get the message across to our youth and community about the importance of Remembrance?
I’ve been involved with our Legion for almost 15 years and though we are making progress; it still seems like something is missing.
- Is it not being taught at home?
- Is it not being taught at school?
- Is our heritage/history/future not important?
To some it’s just another long weekend. Or is it just not worth the time or effort to remember where our freedoms come from?
Then I remembered something from when I was on The Long Way Home journey, a school taking great strides to show their students the importance and value of remembrance.
You see the students that attend this school are reminded everyday of the sacrifices that were made for their freedoms today. At their school they have created a Hall of Valour; a hallway honouring Veteran’s.
The teachings don’t stop there; students research local Veterans, travel to battlefields, visit war cemeteries and do presentations on their discoveries.
I truly think that they are on to something. I remember when I was growing up I had no interest in social studies/history; let alone understand it all. I understood the basics and I have always respected our Veterans; both of my grandfathers were Veterans. But it wasn’t interesting for me. Uhm…yep I’m going to say it…I found it boring; but I was young.
I can only think if that was offered when I was growing up I would of had an A+ in social studies instead of the C-; after all I am a visual learner.
I knew early on when I joined the Legion that I needed to learn more; after all if I was to promote it I should have a better understanding.
It has taken me years of poppy drives, volunteering, talking to schools, participating in and organizing numerous Remembrance ceremonies, visiting war museums, visiting war cemeteries in Europe, watching documentaries, visiting military bases, flying in warplanes, a journey across three provinces by foot and horse, talking with Veterans and Soldiers to build up my understanding, my greater appreciation for their sacrifices and my even much greater respect for our Veterans and Soldiers.
I would like to thank Ponoka Secondary Campus for allowing The Long Way Home team to tour your school, for having an amazing art program and I would like to give you a standing ovation for encouraging our youth to learn the importance and value of remembrance.
I encourage our members and our communities to take some time with your family and visit a museum, visit a Soldier or a Veteran, visit a Veterans Lodge/nursing home/hospital, cenotaph, volunteer at a Legion or visit a Veterans cemetery.
There are many historical sites/museums in your community and province…you would be surprised what is out there.
“Be the change you want to see”
Remembrance…Pass it Along.
Freedom isn’t Free!
By Fox Creek’s Legion Branch #280
President, Lisa Peterson
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