The students of Lax Kxeen Elementary marked Remembrance Day on Nov. 8 with a school ceremony. There were a number of performances and speakers, as well as a conclusion to the students’ efforts to clean the headstones of Prince Rupert’s veterans.
Among the class performances was a rendition of Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae’s famous poem “In Flanders Fields” through song. Students performed other songs throughout to honour Canada’s veterans. There were also guest speakers at the ceremony, who emphasized how important it was to ensure that those who sacrificed for their country are never forgotten.
“It’s important to help them remember. If they remember, then everybody else will as well,” Derry Bott, chaplain for the Royal Canadian Legion’s Prince Rupert branch, said.
“I was very pleased, we had a number of community members that were able to come out and speak to our students about the significance of Remembrance Day,” Susan Kobza, principal of Lax Kxeen, said about the ceremony. “It really teaches the students about the history and the importance of remembering those that served our country.”
|Students placed poppies on a wreath following one of their performances. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
|Arnold Wick spoke to the students about the importance of honouring veterans each and every Remembrance Day. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
At the end of October, students had begun their observance of Remembrance Day with a trip to Fairview Cemetery to clean the headstones of Prince Rupert’s veterans and adorn their graves with a Canadian flag. It served to be an opportunity for a truly hands on experience to pay respects to those who had served our country.
|Lax Kxeen principal Susan Kobza with her students at the school’s Remembrance Day ceremony. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
|Lax Kxeen students made a mural for Remembrance Day that recognized the veterans of Prince Rupert. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
“I was with a few of the students and it was wonderful. They had a lot of respect for the graves,” Bott said. “I think that everybody should be involved in some way to do something for Remembrance Day.”
“The students were very respectful. It was a one time experience and they will never forget it,” Kobza said of the trip to the cemetery.
John Turner played the Last Post on trumpet, followed by Reveille. He explained the significance of pairing the two songs.
|John Turner played the Last Post and Reveille at the ceremony. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
“It’s [Last Post] one of many bugle calls used in the British military tradition, which of course we have in Canada as well. It’s intended mainly for military funerals, but we also hear it on Remembrance Day,” Turner explained.
“It [Reveille] means wake up in the morning. It’s also used as part of the ceremony to indicate the end of the silence.”
|Students payed close attention during the ceremony as they absorbed the gravity of Remembrance Day. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)|
Students exited the ceremony to John Lennon’s “Imagine”, departing with a reinforced appreciation for those who served Prince Rupert and Canada so bravely.
Alex Kurial | Journalist
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