BY BETH CROUSE
A silence fell over Conestoga College’s Doon campus at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11. The silence was deafening as students, faculty and honoured guests stood at attention as The Last Post was played over the P.A. Then slowly, quietly at first, but then growing louder, O Canada resounded, marking the end of the Remembrance Day ceremony.
Given the recent events where two Canadian soldiers were killed, this year Remembrance Day holds a special, deeper meaning as students, faculty and staff took time out of their lives to pause and give thanks to those who fought bravely to protect the rights and freedoms Canadians often take for granted.
“It’s respect for the country and the soldiers who died and are still fighting,” said Taylor Schweitzer, a first-year journalism-print student.
“As Canadians, it’s important to show respect,” added Michelle Maisonville, a first-year journalism – print student. “We can give half an hour to show respect. I’ve had family in the war so it’s important for me to respect them.”
As the ceremony got underway, people gathered in the lower atrium, the upper atrium and along the upper floor’s railing in order to take part.
In attendance were veterans, Conestoga College’s president John Tibbits, CSI president Jeff Scherer, as well as Myeengun Henry, manager of Aboriginal Services.
The iconic poem In Flanders Fields was read aloud, and video montages displayed images taken from the First World War, the Second World War and present day conflicts where Canadian Forces are involved.
“Everyone as individuals should take time out of their day, not just at Conestoga, but on an individual basis. We should be extremely grateful for what the brave men and women have done for us,” Scherer said.
When asked why it’s important to remember, retired Lt.-Col. Gordon Greavette, who is the chair of the School of Liberal Studies at Conestoga College, said, “It’s important because of the willingness of the members of the Canadian Forces who gave us the freedoms we enjoy at sometimes great inconvenience to themselves or they even paid the ultimate sacrifice. We owe our freedoms to their sacrifice.”