Emily Southwood –
To mark the occasion of 100 years since the end of WW1, Ormstown Elementary School took part in a hands-on Remembrance Day project. Students from grade four, five and six visited Ormstown cemeteries where they placed a Canadian flag on the resting place of WW1 and WW2 veterans.
The project was launched by OES Physical Education teacher Chad Campbell who is a passionate Royal Canadian Legion member, determined to pass on the importance of such organizations and their contribution to our country to future generations.
Campbell spoke to the meaning behind the initiative when he said: “I felt like something should be done in order to commemorate those who fought so bravely for our country, so I approached the local Ormstown Legion branch. With the help of Nancy Campbell, I was given a list of names of deceased Ormstown residents who participated in either WW1 or WW2.” Thus, on a rainy November day, OES students travelled to local cemeteries where they paid homage to fallen soldiers and connected with a difficult, but important reality.
The project was in addition to the fall school curriculum which highlighted Remembrance Day as a time to learn about the profound sacrifices that have been made for our current liberties. Grade six French teacher Madame Schinck explained that the students had been learning about the conditions soldiers faced in the trenches of WWI by imagining what a letter home to family members might have recounted. “It’s very sad to think about,” she said. “It also certainly puts the freedom we enjoy in modern life in perspective.”
The overseers of each of the cemeteries, Diane Furey, Monique Duchesne, and Connie McClintock were an essential part of the project. Using their knowledge of the cemeteries, they were able to guide the students towards the location of the veterans’ tombstones. Local historian Amos Martin lent a hand and provided documents with soldiers’ names. “A project like this takes a lot of people. It was nice to see the community (students, teachers, Legion members, members of the church and Ormstown residents) come together for such a worthy cause,” Campbell commented.
On November 11th at dusk, Ormstown churches rang the bells 100 times to mark the 100th Armistice of WW1. Tribute candles donated by OES were placed on the graves of veterans from WW1. In addition to their own school ceremony on November 12th, OES students also participated in Ormstown’s annual Remembrance Day Ceremony in Lindsay Cullen Park on November 11th. The students marched from the Ormstown Legion and placed a wreath at the monument in honour of all those who served for our Nation’s freedom.