Remembrance Day Service

Grade 7 student Stefan D. holding a salute during the service’s moment of silence

 

IHMS conducts a special Remembrance Day prayer service every year to commemorate all the Canadian soldiers who fought and died in previous and current wars. Since November 11th fell on a Saturday this year, staff and students gathered for the service in the school gym at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, November 10th.

 

Students and staff gathered in the school gym for a Remembrance Day Service on Friday, November 10th. The focal point of the service was the symbolic cenotaph, shown in the bottom photo. Note that a cenotaph is a tomb or monument erected in honor of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere.

 

After a brief welcome by Mr. Picklyk, the service began with an entrance procession of three grade 5 students – Kaleigh B.V., Julia T., and Dennis D., who carried the Canadian flag, the Ukrainian flag, and an icon of Mary respectively.

 

Mr. Picklyk (top photo) was the MC for the Remembrance Day Service.  The service began with the entrance procession of the Canadian flag, the Ukrainian flag, and an icon of Mary (bottom photo).

 

Everyone rose for “O Canada”, the national anthem, followed by a reading of the biblical passage Ephesians 4: 25-27, 29-32 by Sister Ruth Aney, SSMI.

 

Sister Ruth Aney, SSMI reading of the biblical passages Ephesians 4: 25-27, 29-32

 

Next a grade 6 student, Eknoor D. read an informative article entitled “Poppy”. The article described the significance of poppies in World War i, and how wearing poppies during Remembrance Day services has become a yearly tradition.

 

Eknoor D. reading an article entitled “Poppy”.

 

The poppy has come to symbolize Remembrance Day as a result of a poem written during World War I by a Canadian military physician called John McCrae. The poem, called “In Flanders Fields”, referred to the poppy because it bloomed in some of the worst battlefields of Flanders, and its red colour was an appropriate symbol for the horrendous bloodshed of the region. According to the Vetern Affairs Canada website, the Royal Canadian Legion suggests that the Poppy be worn on the left lapel of a garment or as close to the heart as possible.

A real poppy flower

A symbolic poppy worn on Remembrance Day

 

This was followed by six grade 7 students reading their “Sentence of Remembrance”. The students, Bailey D., Jeremy D., Kristinah P., Khrystyna S., Mikaela V., and Natalia Z. read a Remembrance Day assignment that they did in class.

 

Grade 7 students reading their “Sentence of Remembrance”

 

Next, Mrs. Stanowych led the grade 2 class in a choral song entitled “Sing of Peace”.

 

 
 The grade 2 class singing the song “Sing of Peace”

 

This was followed by a brief history of the Winnipeg soldier  Andrew Mynarski, a World War II hero who gave his life trying to save a fellow airman after their plane was hit by enemy fire. After his death, Sergeant Mynarski was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. In addition, a school in the Winnipeg School Division on 1111 Machray Ave. was subsequently named in his honour.  

 

Andrew Mynarski School was named after a Winnipeg hero from World War II

 

Attention was then directed to a chalkboard filled with phrases and short quotations. The chalkboard was made up by grade 4 students to simulate the graffiti left by soldiers during the war.

 

Grade 4 students displaying their graffiti filled chalkboard

 

Mrs. Stanowych then directed the grade 6 and 7 classes as the played “Amazing Grace” on their recorders.

 

The grade 6 and 7 students playing “Amazing Grace” on their recorders

 

Probably the highlight of this year’s Remembrance Day service was the traditional laying of the wreath by the school’s “Colour Party”. The Colour Party is always composed of a group of grade 6-8 students who belong to a “uniform” wearing organization such as Sum, Plast, or the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. This year’s Colour Party was made up of  Alyssa D., Martin D., Alexander P., Adrian Z., Owen Z., Stefan D., Nicholas W., “Bo” S., Inderjeet B., and Kennedy S.

 

 
The Colour Party waiting in the front landing before entering the gym

 

The Colour Party marched loudly and in perfect formation from the gym entrance, along the back wall, and down the middle of the gym to the symbolic cenotaph at the front. Alex P. laid the wreath on the cenotaph and then stepped back and saluted while the rest of the marchers filed around on either side of the cross.

 

 
 
The Colour Party marched into the gym, laid a wreath on the cenotaph, and then filed around both sides of the cross.

 

The marchers assumed their positions and saluted during a recorded bugle call entitled “Last Post”. The Last Post is a bugle call that has been incorporated into military funerals where it is played as a final farewell, symbolising the fact that the duty of the dead soldier is over and that they can rest in peace. Everyone remained silent and solemn while the Colour Party held their salute during the moment of silence.

 

After filing around both sides of the cenotaph, the Colour Party held their salute during the “Last Post” and the moment of silence

 

After the moment of silence, Student Council President Donovan M. read a “Peacemaker’s Prayer”, followed by the prayer “Our Father” recited in Ukrainian. At this point, the Remembrance Day Service was over and students filed out of the gym and back to their classrooms.

 

Student Council President Donovan M. reading a “Peacemaker’s Prayer”

 

War is a terrible thing that nobody really wants, but it still happens all the time. Human nature suggests that it’s probably impossible to completely eliminated all wars on Earth, but at least we can hope for it to occur less often.

 

The Colour Party posing for a photo at the end of the service. Click here to enlarge