Chase River Elementary students are tuning up to play guitar at this year’s Remembrance Day ceremony.
But the song isn’t the only lesson tied to remembrance Grade 7 teacher Russell Greenway will impart to his students come Nov. 11.
He’ll not only explain why Canada went to war and the freedoms fought for and protected, but share his own connection to the Second World War.
“I use actually my own father and my father-in-law as examples and their experiences in the war and how they survived,” said Greenway, whose father was in the navy in the Second World War and patrolled Vancouver Island for Japanese submarines, while his father-in-law was a gunner overseas, who was found among the dead by the Germans and was traded through the Red Cross.
“It’s important to let the kids know everything that we have in our society is affected by various things and this was something that affected our world, our Canada… and it’s important that we don’t forget because I think if we forget and lose touch then we lose touch of why peace is so important too.”
Remembrance Day will be marked at Chase River Elementary this Thursday, Nov. 9, with a poem about the contribution of Canada’s First Nations soldiers, student-made banners, wreaths and music.
The school’s youngest and eldest students will work together to create banners of remembrance to hang in the gym for the ceremony, which also feature performances by a choir and students playing guitars.
“We have different people who for different reasons it’s very important to them. For me I’m not a tie kind of guy but Remembrance Day is the day I wear a suit and tie,” said principal Darren Dickie, who said everyone on staff feels an important connection to the day and wants to impress upon the kids the understanding and value of the sacrifices that were made.
“For the younger students, it’s more just an understanding a war occurred and we’re always looking for peace right now and as they get a little bit older, they get a picture of what war actually looks like, what it sounds like and as they start to evolve and become aware outside themselves they can really start to get a sense of empathy of what it might have felt like to be a soldier.”