On Wednesday, November 6th the IPS Grade 8 students held a Remembrance Day Assembly for the school community to help the school understand the importance of Remembrance Day. With a variety of topics ranging from ‘Women in War’ to the symbolic meaning behind white and purple poppies, they directed us through the historical and present-day meaning of this day. 

Near the end of the ceremony, Adrian (our teacher) talked about why we remember and the impact our choices have on history. I left with a sense of hope but also a sense of responsibility. I wanted to see what others had taken away from the assembly and why they remember on the 11th. I asked students from Grades 6, 7 and 8. Here are the responses I got:

Roman B, Grade 8:

Why do you remember?

“Well, my grandpa was part of World War Ⅱ as a fighter pilot; he lost a few friends, unfortunately. 

Everyone wants to be remembered but being remembered for dying is kind of sad. Participating in the war is a very selfless act of loyalty to your country and to others. You are putting your own life on the line to promote the life of children and future generations. This is why I remember.”

Hannah F, Grade 7:

Why do you remember?

“I remember because a lot of people died in the war. My great uncle and aunt died in the war and this is important to me. It’s sad that there are so many unmarked graves because they do not get the respect and recognition they deserve. We need to remember the people who died, no matter what. It is such an important part of history; these soldiers sacrificed their lives to create a peaceful world. That’s why I remember.”

Isaac S, Grade 6:

Why do you remember?

“I remember because I have a lot of relatives that died in the war. My great grandpa, for example, saw a lot of people who were affected. His job was to play piano for the soldiers to lift their spirits. I think it is important to remember all those who fought and served in the war, no matter if they died, lived, or helped. This is why I remember.”

These responses showed me just  how much Remembrance day can mean to different people, no matter what their connection is. Remembrance day is a way to look back on the most brutal events in history and reflect on their impact in our world today. It is a time of mourning, hope and love around the world and it gives us a chance to reset and think about our choices. 

On Monday November 11th, the Bowen Island Remembrance Day service was held at the cenotaph by the ferry. People from all over the island came and there was an immense sense of community. IPS students laid our wreath at the base of the cenotaph with others from organizations all over the island. On our wreath, all IPS students had written a note/message they wanted to say to the soldiers/veterans of the war. It signified our gratefulness and love towards the people affected by war. 

Writing this reminded me of the reasons we remember; we remember to mourn; we remember to love; we remember to recognise the sacrifices made for our future. Remembrance day is a time to think about our past and pave our way to the future. 

Lest we forget,

Wylie S, Grade 8