At 11:00 am, hundreds of students, teachers, and Marc Garneau staff stood tall as they paid their respects to the thousands of Canadians soldiers who served our country. The memorial service was held on Friday, 9 November 2018, the last school day before Remembrance Day, which takes place on 11 November.
Started on 11 November 1918 when the first World War officially ended at the eleventh hour, Remembrance Day turns one hundred years old this year. Over one million Canadians have served and there have been almost 100 000 casualties after Canada joined the fight in 1915. Since then, Canadian troops have continued to help others across the world in operations such as peacekeeping missions in areas like Somalia and Haiti as well as aiding in other conflicts such as the Afghanistan War.
MGCI holds the memorial service over the Public Announcement system because of the lack of space to accommodate all members in the building for an assembly. This year, the history and importance of the holiday was described in detail after students stood for the national anthem. In addition to the playing of the Last Post followed by two minutes of silence, poems were read out: the popular In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, a soldier, physician, and poet during WW1, and shortly after, High Flight written by Canadian Air Force Pilot, John Gillespie Magee Jr.
One Grade 10 student thinks of the national commemoration as a “reminder of the values and freedoms taken for granted.” Another agreed, saying, “ [The memorial service] really helped me appreciate soldiers who died in duty for this country.”
Although the Marc Garneau community may have not been in the same room during this memorial service , the appreciation and respect for men and women who aided or served in the Canadian military flooded the hallways and classrooms of the school.