Remembrance Day Service

Grade 6 student Dennis D. led the Colour Party and laid the wreath during the school’s Remembrance Day Service on Friday, November 9


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 Sunday this year, staff and students gathered for the service in the school gym shortly after 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 9th.


Students and staff gathered in the school gym for a Remembrance Day Service on Friday, November 9th. The focal point of the service was the symbolic cenotaph, shown in the above photo. Note that a cenotaph is a tomblike monument erected to honour a dead person who is not actually buried there. A cenotaph usually commemorates people who died in a war.


Grade 7 students selling poppies at the entrance to the gym


After a brief welcome by Mr. Picklyk, the service began with an entrance procession of three grade 5 students – Guneet B., Marko K., and Viana C., who carried the Canadian flag, the Ukrainian flag, and an icon of Mary respectively into the gym.


Mr. Picklyk (top photo) and an entrance procession of three grade 5 students carrying the Canadian flag, the Ukrainian flag, and an icon of Mary


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



Next, Mr. Picklyk projected a short, informative video entitled “The Poppy Story” on the gym wall. The video described the significance of poppies in World War i, and how wearing poppies during Remembrance Day services has become a yearly tradition. Since the First World War ended exactly 100 years ago this year (on Sunday, November 11, 2018), many of the Remembrance Day services planned for that day will include an item entitled “Bells of Peace”, where a bell will toll 100 times, symbolizing the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918.


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 five grade 7 students reading their “Sentence of Remembrance”. The students, Conor R., Julian B., Nazar H., Mady L., and Khushleen D. read a Remembrance Day assignment that they did in class. The five student read their assignments in five different languages. 



Next, Mrs. Stanowych led the Kindergarten class in a choral song entitled “Kumbaya”. Yes, that song, but it was cute when the Kindergartens sang it.


Kindergarten students singing “Kumbaya”


Next, some historical information was shown in a video honouring one of Canada’s greatest war heroes – Sergeant Tommy Prince. Sergeant Tommy Prince, a native of Manitoba, was one of Canada’s most decorated First Nations soldiers, serving in World War II and the Korean War.


  Sergeant Tommy Prince


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 Stefan D., Maksym P., “Bo” S., Jacob J., Darius M., Nazar B., and Dennis D. 


The Colour Party preparing to march to the cenotaph


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. Dennis D. 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 to the front of the gym where Dennis D. laid the wreathes at the base of the cenotaph


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, symbolizing 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 the moment of silence, student council president Anton A. read a “Peacemaker’s Prayer”, followed by a choral song by the grade 5 class entitled “Just One Candle”. The song also included three soloists:  Aleeza A.D. (grade 6), Julia L, (grade 3), and Paige R. (grade 3) 


Student council president Anton A. (top photo) and the grade 5 class singing “Just One Candle” with three soloists (last two photos)


After everyone recited the closing prayer (“Our Father” in Ukrainian), the Remembrance Day Service was over and students filed out of the gym and back to their classrooms.


The Colour Party and flag bearers posing in front of the cenotaph at the end of the service. Click HERE to enlarge