The significance of Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of war veterans may be lost on some youth but not on Victoria Welte.
Welte, 14, a flight corporal with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 205 Nanaimo, is drum major for her cadet branch and official trumpeter with the Nanaimo Korean Veteran’s Association and Royal Canadian Legion branches in Nanaimo (Harewood) and Lantzville. The status means she performs Last Post and Reveille at a number of events, including those on Remembrance Day.
Welte took up the trumpet to follow in the footsteps of her brother.
She spends time honing her craft and said it took a long time to be able to play Last Post and Reveille properly, with many hours of practice.
Despite this, she still feels nervous before performing.
“I’m not really a person who gets nervous that easily but I think I get butterflies for it because I care about it a lot,” Welte said. “I want to do well at it and I want it to be meaningful to other people.”
She does more than just perform Last Post and Reveille for veterans, however. She volunteers to set up and serve meals for the Royal Canadian Legion and sells poppies.
She enjoys hearing the stories that war vets tell, and knowing their experiences adds to her performance.
“When I’m playing it, that’s what I want people [to feel], that’s why I play it slow and I play it really meaningful. I want people to really feel the emotion of it because that’s what it’s meant to be,” said Welte.
Besides volunteering and performing for members of the armed forces, Welte also aspires to become a pilot with the Canadian Forces.
“I’ve wanted to become a pilot forever,” she said. “Once my brother went into the military, I was like, ‘Oh, that looks like fun.’ He wants to be a fighter pilot and I want to be a transportation pilot. You know the big, grey airplanes, the Hercules? Those are what I want to fly.”
She wants to attend the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ont., to that end.
Welte will be performing at services at Aspengrove School and Malaspina Gardens tomorrow (Nov. 8) at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. respectively, Beban Park Gyro Youth Sports Fields on Saturday at 10 a.m., the legion branch in Harewood Sunday at 10 a.m., the Lantzville legion Remembrance Day service Monday at 10 a.m. and the Cedar Valley memorial service on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.