By Rilynn McFadden-Bain

Students remember: Essays on Remembrance Day

The following essays were submitted by Grade 7/8 students from J.D. Hodgson Elementary School. 


Often on Remembrance Day I think about what it was like for my great grandparents who met during the Second World War. My great grandfather was a mechanic from Scotland who worked on tanks and airplanes. My great grandmother was a parachute packer also from Scotland. I don’t know how they met but I know that they met and got married during the war. What was it like for them? Were they ever in a battle? They were not soldiers but anything can happen in a time of war.

What would I do if I was in their shoes? I would constantly be worried that the hangar I’m working in will be bombed or the plane that I’m packing parachutes for will be shot down. War must be very stressful. I bet all of my great grandparents’ hair turned grey. Mine probably would have too.

Would I be willing to go to war for my country? I would probably be a soldier because I’m not a mechanic or anything and I know how to work a gun. Would I be old enough? They would have to be desperate to let a 12-year-old go to war. What would I do if I stayed home? I heard somewhere that when the older teenagers and young adults went to fight the younger kids took on their normal jobs.       

I wonder how my great grandparents met? Did they serve at the same base or meet in battle?   

I think they were probably at the same base for a while. What happened when they were separated? It was bound to happen. They probably spent all day thinking about each other. But they likely got back together again at some point.

What happened after the war when all the fighting was over? It would take some time to go back to normal life. Some people might not have ever been able to go back to normal life because it wasn’t normal to them. I don’t know if they had PTSD but many people did. When the war was over my great grandparents had a kid then seven years later they moved to Canada to start a new life. 

In conclusion, many of our ancestors fought and died in the war and the only thing left of them is their stories.

Benjamin McMahon

Poppy by Carter Mitchell

 Remembrance Day

Every year on Nov. 11, we celebrate Remembrance Day to remember the fallen soldiers who risked their lives in both world wars.  On Remembrance Day, I am thankful for the veterans who fought in these wars as they gave freedom for our country.

Remembrance Day was a tradition that was started by King George V to honour the fallen soldiers and those who fought for freedom. The war ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Remembrance Day was originally called Armistice Day. At ll a.m. on Remembrance Day we take a minute of silence to reflect on past and present veterans and the struggles they had to go through while they were away from their families. We take time to remember the people who didn’t come back home to their families. Remembrance Day is celebrated in over 54 commonwealth countries which include Canada, Great Britain, France and Australia. Also they play a popular song on Remembrance Day called the Last Post which is played by a trumpet and people lay wreaths at war memorials. In Canada we remember over 2,300,000 Canadians who fought in the war throughout our nation’s history. As well 118,000 veterans risked their lives and died in the line of duty.

In my community we celebrate Remembrance Day. They lay down wreaths at a ceremony and they say everyone’s name who fought in the war. They also play music from a bagpipe band. In the past my Nana has laid down a wreath at the cenotaph on main street in Haliburton. My Nana did this to honour her dad, my great Papa who fought in the Second World War. 

There are many things that are linked to Remembrance Day. First of all, the poppy. The meaning of the poppy is a symbol of recovery and remembering fallen soldiers who fought for our freedom. The poppy grew on the battlefields after the First World War ended. They grew from lime being deposited into the ground from battle debris. The poppy is worn on your left side because it is closer to your heart the same as military medals. The Queen wears five poppies to represent each branch of service. These branches include the army, navy, air force, civil defence and women. The poppy was made famous by the poem In Flanders Fields. In Flanders Fields is a popular poem during Remembrance Day ceremonies. Medical Officer John McCrae wrote Flanders Fields on a scrap piece of paper in the First World War, 1915. He was not expecting the poem to become so famous and specifically linked with Remembrance Day.

Finally, I feel Remembrance Day is very important to our community because we are able to get together as a community to celebrate and remember the ones who lived and died for our freedom. I hope Remembrance Day can be celebrated for many years to come.  

By Brechin Johnston

By Lara Gallant

Remember the day

I’m sitting at home right now thinking about Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is about remembering the men and women who risked their lives for our country and its people. If you talk and think about it, we wouldn’t have homes or all the luxuries we have if it wasn’t for the soldiers who fought for our country’s freedom. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to sleep and fight in trenches when at home we have nice warm comfortable beds. If someone in my family was at war I would be very scared for them but I would also be proud that they are giving up everything to fight for the freedom of our country.

I bet it would be hard for the families of soldiers, who were at home, not knowing if their husband, brother, sister, or son was alive or not, wondering each and every day. Think about the families who had someone come to them or receive a letter saying that your son, husband, brother had been killed, gone missing or was stolen by the enemies.

It’s so cool when you get to hear a person who has been to war talk, but it’s also scary knowing that this actually happened and may happen again. It’s crazy when you think about what the veterans must feel or what they felt. 

Our veterans are old and they will soon not be here anymore so we will have to learn the history of what happened so we can keep telling their stories to our kids and grandkids.

We wear  poppies on our shirts to symbolize the blood that has been shed by soldiers throughout the war. Plastic poppies are sold to the public and people wear them on their shirts or hats. Remembrance Day takes place every year on 11th of November. It’s held to remember all those who died fighting in the world wars.

Every year our school goes to a ceremony in town and we watch people march down the roads, making cool music with drums and other instruments. Some veterans even get to talk a little bit about their experience. It’s really cool to see the perspectives that people who have been to war have about it all. Some veterans even get pushed in wheelchairs or walk with the parade and play a little instrument. 

On November 11 at 11:11 the war ended, so that’s when we take a moment of silence every year to think about everything that has happened in these wars and all the heroes that gave our country freedom. 

Lara Gallant

By Sarah Hollands