For paramedic care student Nicholas Lamoureux Remembrance Day ceremonies have special meaning.
“Well I’ve had a lot of family who’ve served in the armed forces over the years,” he said.
That’s why Lamoureux, who goes to John Abbott College, joined hundreds at the school’s Memorial Field for their annual Remembrance Day ceremony to pay tribute to people who served in the armed services, and especially the ones who perished.
“It takes a special kind of person to put up that kind of sacrifice for your country for millions of people you don’t even know,” he told Global News following the ceremony.
Royal Canadian Legion launches centennial poppy campaign
The college’s ceremony was held one week before Remembrance Day which falls on Nov. 11.
It wasn’t just college students who went to say thanks. MacDonald High School as well as Edgewater and Dorset elementary schools also took part.
“It’s just an amazing opportunity to recognize our veterans and to recognize the sacrifices that were made,” Mike Stewart, principal at Dorset, pointed out.
He said it’s one way to teach students not just about those sacrifices, but also to help them learn about the past.
“It’s important to teach them the history of why wars happen and why we want to avoid going to war in the future,” he said.
How Silver Cross Mother Josée Simard honours her daughter’s sacrifice
The ceremony was personal for some of the students like 13-year-old Katherine Lindsay, a Grade 8 student at MacDonald High School.
Being there brought to mind her father and grandfather, both of whom she said served in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her grandfather who was deployed to the Korean War told her his war stories.
“It makes me feel sad that he was the only one of all his friends that survived,” she explained, “but also makes me happy that he did something useful in the world.”
2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the remembrance poppy
Phoenix Rodrigues, a Grade 6 student from Dorset Elementary, doesn’t want to go through what her grandfather did as a soldier. He also served in the Korean War as a Canadian servicemember.
“I just don’t want another war to happen again,” the 11-year-old said.
Neither does Lamoureux.
Still, he wants to follow in the footsteps of his uncles and great grandparents and sign up for service in Canada.
“As a medic with the armed forces to carry on the tradition,” he smiled.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.