Keeping memories alive of those who died for our freedom is central to the Remembrance Day message.
Melissa Ramon’s grade 8 history classes, together with me, SAC's Librarian and Archivist, explored and honoured some of the 104 young Andreans who died in the First World War. The students researched the School and military lives of our Andrean soldiers and used GIS software to create digital maps of the soldiers’ lives (more on this to come).
This year, the students also worked with Mrs. Randi Berman and Mrs. Robyn O’Hare in art class to create beautiful ceramic poppies that now form a Garden of Remembrance outside Memorial Chapel. At the start of the Remembrance Day services today, the grade 8 students planted their poppies in the garden.
The grade 8 students discovered many links to the past and to their Andrean brothers: one hundred years ago, SAC students played hockey and football, became Prefects, came from faraway places, and also, occasionally, got into trouble. Of the many Andreans whose lives were lost in World War 1, ten were commemorated at this year’s Middle School Remembrance Day ceremony.
Imagine: 10 white crosses standing starkly on the Quad this damp and dreary morning. At each white cross stands a grade 11 student, proudly holding a photograph of a young man not much older than himself. The Middle School students, along with the grade 9s, walk the Quad and pause at each of the 10 crosses to listen to the older boys recount the stories of their Andrean brothers, the 10 fallen soldiers.
This year’s service was especially meaningful to the older students, as they had all participated in the Battlefields Tour earlier in the year, during which they visited the graves of many Fallen Andreans.
Connor LeClaire told the story of Henry L. (Lin) Wright, killed at age 24. “I was proud to tell the story to the younger generation – throwing the torch to them, " said Connor. "Hopefully they will hold it high and give the story life and meaning for generations of Andreans to come.”
Similarly Ben Schmidt, who told Lt. Richard A. Brown’s story, said “I was amazed to discover that this soldier was only two years older than me and we share the same October birthday. It made his story seem even more real.”
It was a moving ceremony. The stories of Andrean courage and valour continue to resonate more than one hundred years on. Let us continue to remember and honour every single Andrean who fought for his country and especially those who were never to return.
For more information about all Andreans who fought for our country, please visit the Cadets web pages.
To view a photo gallery, click here.
Story by Sue Hayter