Friday Two Cents: I Spoke From My Heart, A Place Of Honour


 

  This coming Sunday is an extremely important day for me, and many people around Canada. On November 11th we commemorate the sacrifice tens of thousands of men and women did to preserve our way of life. In other words, our freedom to choose how to live our own lives. This day has always been a day to reflect and honour those who paid the ultimate cost for that freedom.

  This past week many schools have been getting ready to also commemorate this day. Many ask the students to create reflections, images and art to this effect. In one class they were tasked to create something similar, yet something happened that made my blood boil and took all my strength to compose myself.
  I was supplying in a junior class with students’ ages 9 – 11, they were asked to create a poster reflecting on their up coming Remembrance Day assembly. I decided to show them a YouTube video I had created for another Remembrance Day assembly. During the video a student was laughing at the images of the soldiers and other students made it a point to tell him to stop and told me after it was over. I had observed this and decided not to react but thought to turn it into a lesson.

Remembrance Day Poppy

  After the video had played I ask them what feelings did they feel after viewing it. Many said sadness, pride and respect. I said their poster also needs to bring out those emotions. The person was still laughing and many told that individual to stop, but I said. “No they can laugh. You see those soldiers died so that people like them can laugh and do what they want. Even if it makes you upset, we in Canada must respect the rights of individuals to express their opinions.” I looking right at them and continued, “Remember though, that in your home country, you are not allowed to express yourself that way. That you would not be allowed to even practice your faith like you are here in Canada. Remember that because of these soldiers, you can come to this country and believe what you want, go to school where you want and even say what you want. Where you come from you would not be.” After that little speech the students went to work on their posters and many were very well done. Even the one individual also worked on it. But it took all my patience and self-control to say those things and compose myself.
  I am not sure if that individual understood what I said or if they care. What I do know is that I spoke from my heart, from a place where honour and loyalty has a strong presence. I believe in the words I spoke and ever day I do try to live a life that honours their sacrifice. That is why I created the video in the first place. I wanted to create a tool to help honour them and hopefully inspire others to take up the torch and hold it high. For I will not break faith with those who die, though poppies grow in Flanders Fields.

Advertisements

Friday Two Cents: Remembrance


twoCentsOldNew

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. A day when we remember the sacrifice that many men and women have paid for the rest of us to live free. This day, above all other days holds great significance to me that words cannot express my true feelings. The only words that come to mind are the ones written by a Canadian poet and physician who served in World War I. I know how weak and fruitless any words I can express for my eternal gratitude to these people except to quote the poem In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrea.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow


Between the crosses, row on row,


That mark our place; and in the sky


The larks, still bravely singing, fly


Scarce heard amid the guns below.



 

We are the Dead. Short days ago


We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,


Loved and were loved, and now we lie


In Flanders fields.



 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:


To you from failing hands we throw


The torch; be yours to hold it high.


If ye break faith with us who die


We shall not sleep, though poppies grow


In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrea

(A Canadian poet and physician who served in World War I)

I remember when I when to Ottawa those so many times and prayed at the War Memorial to say thank you. The torch is ours to bear, and I bear it with a sense of pride and humility. So much so that I have drawn many images using charcoal on paper to relive those moments in history. I then created a video collection to honour those brave individuals using the drawings I drew and the images that inspired them. This short video is meant as a tribute to them and to all Canadians who stand up for the cause of freedom.

For Lest We Forget. 

Friday Two Cents: Remembrance Day For A Kindergarten Student


twoCentsOldNew

This past week Canadians remembered the sacrifice of those who put their lives on the line for freedom. Remembrance Day was observed in every school I worked in this week and every classroom. I was privileged to work in many different classes this week and I was able to address the subject of remembrance with each class.

Tissue Paper Poppies

I wanted to help the students understand that these people, soldiers, were regular Canadians who left their homes to help others. Not just the soldiers from the World Wars and Korea but the peacekeepers and modern soldiers too. I used the little video I created and posted last week, to help get this point across. In a couple of images there are soldiers helping others and one even helping a child. I choose these imagines to help get that point across. I then asked the students after I showed the video, “What do they think that soldiers do?” many said that they help people.

I told them a story of a soldier I knew that was an engineer who left home to go and help people in villages across the world. He wasn’t there to fire his gun but he and others built wells to purify the water for them as well as build schools and hospitals for them. I also tried to get the message across that soldiers are not just people running around with guns but they help people.   They are doctors, nurses, engineers, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and even teachers.

I then read them the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.  this book has some wonderful paintings about the First World War.  I used it as a follow-up to the video and helped them listen to the poem.  

It is difficult to try to help small children between 3 – 5 years old to understand the importance of Remembrance Day. But hopefully this lesson is a beginning of their understanding on how import this day really means.

Art Inspiration: Remembrance 2015


ArtInspirationPaulGLogo 

This year I had the good fortune to travel to Ottawa where I received many moments of inspiration. The most profound flashes of inspiration came when I visited the Canadian War Museum and the National War Memorial. There I was inspired to draw and create what I saw.

I did a lot of drawing and I did not stop there. I found other images from the Great War, World War Two and modern images of Canadian soldiers. I drew each one in turn until I had over a dozen on my drawing table.   I then got an idea to place these drawings and images in a short video clip as a tribute to all Canadians who fought for our freedom.

When creating these drawings, I did not use my typical mediums. I drew them on acid free paper as I always have but instead of pencils, pens or paints I used charcoal. I wanted to create something using similar mediums that Michelangelo, Da Vinci, or many other artists used over a hundred years ago. I found the experience refreshing and developed a new appreciation for those masters of old.

I scanned all the images into the computer and set off on creating a video tribute. The music I used was, Honor (Honor (2010), (Main Title Theme from “The Pacific”) by Geoff Zanelli, Hans Zimmer & Blake Neely.) It is a hauntingly beauty piece of music that I never get tired of hearing.

The end result is a video I hope reflects my passion and respect for all those whom I owe so much.

 

I have imbedded the YouTube video for you to watch. It was created because I was inspired.  My hope is that it inspires others. Please enjoy Remembrance 2015.

 

Friday Two Cents: Ottawa Trip Part 5 – The National War Memorial


twoCentsOldNew_George

The other memorial I visited is the one most dear to my heart and sense of patriotism. It is the National War Memorial. Unveiled in 1939 to commemorate the Canadians who served in World War I (WWI), it has over the years come to symbolize the tremendous sacrifice of all Canadians who served in times of war for freedom. It has been later rededicated and the dates 1939 – 1945 (World War II (WWII)) and 1950 – 1953 (Korean War) has been placed in bronze on each side of the memorial. In 2000 the Tomb of Canada’s Unknown Soldier was added on the site in front of the memorial. Inside is a Canadian soldier that fought during WWI near the site of the battle of Vimy Ridge. Today it is the site of Canada’s Remembrance Day celebrations and stands as a constant reminder that the cost of freedom is sometimes paid for in blood.

For me this is one of the most important sites in Ottawa and whenever I visit the capital I always visit the memorial to pay my respects to the people who fought, so that I may live in a country that is free. A country where I do not have to fear religious persecution, where I have the freedom to say and do what I want; a country where the government is elected by the people for the people. A country where my little nieces will grow up free to vote and be whatever they want to be.

I use to come once every two years for the Remembrance Day celebrations but I have not been to Ottawa in about 15 years and therefore I have not visited the memorial. This is my first time seeing the Tomb of Canada’s Unknown Soldier and I could not help but be touched by the thought of who and what it represents. We do not know who he is, only that he was a Canadian. He represents all our sons, brothers, fathers, uncles and friends who died in service for all of us. I could not help but stop and say a silent prayer of thanks and gratitude for his sacrifice.

When I arrived and spent time at the memorial I could not help but reflect of what this memorial represents to me.   For me this memorial is a symbol to all Canadians that this country is the way it is because of those who sacrificed so much on the altar of freedom.   Then the words from the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ came to me and their words mean so much even today nearly 100 years after they were written. It speaks of the dead, passing the torch to the next generation and to remember them. And then the words rang true to me …

In Flanders fields the poppies blow


Between the crosses, row on row,


That mark our place; and in the sky


The larks, still bravely singing, fly


Scarce heard amid the guns below.



 

We are the Dead. Short days ago


We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,


Loved and were loved, and now we lie


In Flanders fields.



 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:


To you from failing hands we throw


The torch; be yours to hold it high.


If ye break faith with us who die


We shall not sleep, though poppies grow


In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields by Major John McCrea

(A Canadian poet and physician who served in World War I)

It is my turn to take up the torch and hold it high. I will not break faith with those who die. They can sleep though poppies grow, in Flanders Fields.

Rest, be at peace and thank you.

Friday Two Cents: Lest We Forget Canada’s Heroes


twoCentsOldNew 

This week in the kindergarten class we have been going through the motions of the curriculum as always but this week we have been doing something different.  We have been talking about Remembrance Day.  For those of you who do not know, Remembrance Day is on November 11 when we in Canada remember the sacrifices of the men and woman, of our arms forces who served and guarded our freedom.

The children are curious about this idea and many think about soldiers and guns.  But with me I tell them of the reasons these people do their duties.  I say that these people went out to make sure that today you are able to go to school.  Many other children around the world cannot go to school and we in Canada are very fortunate that we can do this.  I also tell them that because these people guard our freedom, you can go with your moms and dads to the store when you want and even McDonald’s too.  That usually gets a laugh from them. 

A reassurance marker for the Highway of Heroes...

A reassurance marker for the Highway of Heroes, which forms a part of Ontario’s Highway 401, the busiest highway in North America. The Highway of Heroes covers approximately 250km of the 815km route. The signage was erected in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is hard to talk about this subject with kindergarten children but they are very inquisitive and bright.  They need to be made aware that we have what we have because so many sacrificed so much to ensure this right.  Living in Canada many people take it for granted that we have such a great life.  This has always been a particularly important topic to me and I want to ensure that the sacrifices of these brave men and women does not be forgot.

I showed this little video to many children in the past and teachers too.  It’s about the Highway Of Heroes.  In Canada, every soldier who dies is brought back home to the Military base in Trenton, Ontario and then makes the long 2-hour journey to Toronto to the Ontario Coroner’s office.  That stretch of highway has been renamed “Highway of Heroes”.  It is a presentation from what the family would see on their way to Toronto.  I tell you this with no shame that I always get choked up and shed a tear when I see it. 

It is a very powerful video that has a simple message, “Lest We Forget”.  Many who have seen this feel the same as me, and many get choked up too.

 

 

To all who have served and are serving, may God bless you and Thank You.  

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

doug --- off the record

just a place to share some thoughts

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

The Trombonist's Mouthpiece

Music, education, and philosophy

Paul Gauchi

My innermost thoughts I wish to share. These things Inspire me, maybe they will inspire you.

Lucia Lorenzi

the body politic: musings and meanderings

Eternal Atlantis

Official Website of Luciana Cavallaro

The Art Studio by Mark Moore

Where Imagination Becomes Realality

Daniel is funny

Monsters, Jokes, Analogies

A Step onto the Road

The journeying of a literary hopeful

teachingontheverge

Thinking deeply about education

The Baggage Handler

I made the impossible easy in both worlds!

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Belief Blog

Spreading the Power of Belief

The First Gates

Stories, Dreams, Imagination, Soul

Unbound Boxes Limping Gods

The writer gives life to a story, the reader keeps it alive.