Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day Assembly

I was struggling with how to represent the reason that we make such a point of Remembrance Day.  In my post on Remembrance Day I was comparing my life to that of my grand-father.  the more I thought about it, the more it seemed that this might be the message that the kids could understand in a K-5 school.  Below is what I presented.  Before I get to that, I also wanted to say how proud I was of our school yesterday.  

It was the best assembly in terms of listening that we have experienced this year, we had a huge collaborative effort on the part of 3 French teachers to present Quand les hommes vivront d'amour which was followed up by another great performance of another class which sung Flanders Fields as it was put together by Anthony Hutchcroft. What was really cool about that performance is that our music teacher shared the link last Thursday and the teacher had it ready for our assembly a short 6 days later.

Another teacher, through KidPix, had her students represent what peace meant to them as a slideshow to show before the assembly started.  We were joined by a veteran who was a tail gunner during WWII, who was brought over from the local Legion Home by a parent who works there.  We also had a trumpet player who played Taps and Rouse for our assembly, which was arranged by another family.  It was such a great community effort.  It is our best attended assembly of the year after our year-end assembly.  There were many parents and staff who felt that the message was well communicated this year.

Remembrance Day
There are many privileges that we are able to enjoy because of the sacrifices made by many men and women. It is difficult to explain when our lives are so different than those of our parents, grand-parents and great-grand-parents. I have struggled with how to explain something that I myself have never experienced.  I thought that I would compare my life to members of my family to show you how fortunate we are and why it is important that we never forget.

5 years old – catching snakes is the backyard and going to the park
Dad 5 years old- practicing bombing drills where a siren would go off and he would have to know where to go in case planes would drop bombs on his city
12 years old – going with my parents to buy clothes, having a some choice of what to buy, not being happy with what my mom would allow me to buy.  Would lose clothes fairly often- just like our own lost and found, lots of clothes that kids leave behind
Uncle 12 years old- clothes, material for clothes limited, pyjamas were made from curtains and made way too big so that he could grow into it to save money and materials.  Every clothing item was stitched, patched, passed down, extended.  Nothing was wasted
19 – second year of university, not sure what courses I would take, enjoyed hanging out with friends, playing soccer
Grand-father 19 – part of the French army, fighting, hoping to stay alive
20 – 3rd year of university, trying to decide what I wanted to do career wise with my degree
Grand-father 20- captured by enemy soldiers and spent the next 5 years in a prisoner of war camp, wondering if he was going to be able to eat enough, wondering if he was going to survive
23 – a friend of mine got married, was able to go to different stores to find her wedding dress, try on many dresses until she found the one she wanted
23- grand-mother- wedding dresses and materials were very limited.  She borrowed the wedding dresses from 3 friends, unsewed them, put together her own wedding dress, after the wedding had to take it apart again and resew her friends wedding dress exactly like they were before
25- working, having fun with friends, playing soccer and golf, beginning to realize that I wanted to become a teacher and started planning what courses I would take, spending a lot of time with my family
Grand-father 25- war was coming to an end and the prisoners were being marched for days to come to a point where they were released to France where my grand-father for the first time in 6 years saw his mom, dad, sister and brother and other members of his family as well as my grand-mother who he would marry a few months later
26 – Went back to university to take the courses that I was missing, able to shop at Costco and able to buy what I needed and things that I wanted,would throw away food I did not finish, go to all you can eat sushi, fish and chips (in other words eat too much and then not always feeling well because I ate too much)
26- grand-parents had groceries rationed, only able to pick up small amounts of food.  Everything was eaten, could not afford to throw any food away.  Having just enough to eat, special treat if they were able to have seconds

We live in a time where we have choices and opportunities thanks to the many men and women who have fought to protect our right to be safe, go to school and have choices of what we would like to do when we are adults.  We do not have these memories because of what the many brave men and women have sacrificed for us.  Canada has not had a was on its soil in over 100 years, which means that the Canadian Forces have been going overseas to help provide the peace that our nation has enjoyed for so many years.  It is important that we take the time to be thankful for our veterans so that we can continue to live in peace.

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