On November 8, the Friday before Remembrance Day, Riverside Secondary’s Social Studies department and Ms. Caroline Ross organized the 2019 ceremony. Jayden Bawden and Ammarah Siddiqui, leadership students, were the MC’s of the event. Each year, different special guests are invited to speak about the importance of remembering and respecting the sacrifices of the soldiers who fought for Canada.
This year, Mr. Steve Carter, a retired history teacher, read the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. “In Flanders Fields” is a poem that is traditionally recited; it was written during the First World War. The poem symbolizes the sacrifices made during the war, McCrae wrote of the poppies growing over the graves of the soldiers. Another speaker, Captain Donald Lamb, who was born and raised in British Columbia, began his introduction to the military at the age of 14 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Captain Lamb eventually provided service to his country on the homefront, in the former Yugoslavia, and through two deployments to Afghanistan. He shared a slide show and spoke of his experiences as a soldier. In 2014, he also was the recipient of the CAF Ombudsman Award; the awards committee describes him as someone who “never backs down from a difficult situation, despite the immense personal cost of time and energy; he is resourceful, has no fear of hard work, will ask the difficult questions and will try various approaches to solve problems.” The qualities of being a brave soldier can be carried into our everyday lives. Perhaps embracing the values of sacrifice, resourcefulness and problem solving, instead of increasing polarization will prevent future conflicts.
The Colour Guard included Riverside students of all grades, including Mikee Sabaten, Mark Iverson, Peter Inden, Camryn Guanzon, Victoria Martinez, Micole Lai, Kristian Berg, Djzinnixe Lada, Jonathan Lam, Dustin Sacro, and Kevin Fan.
For her first Riverside Remembrance Day assembly, Ms. Laine Spicer, Riverside’s new music teacher, lead the choir in singing “Roses I Sent You” and the “World Peace Canon.” The band performed the “Last Post,” “Amazing Grace” and other hymns.
Riverside thanks those who made the assembly a thoughtful event and payed respects to those who fought to build a better life and generation for those living today.