Published on November 9, 2016 | by Laura Lourenco Photography by Justine VanDyke0
Remembrance Day holds a special place in many Canadian hearts
University of Guelph-Humber student, Malorie Blanchette, has always seen Remembrance Day as something special.
“Remembrance Day has always been a great deal to me, especially since I had family who fought and risked their lives for our freedom today,” Blanchette said.
Blanchette’s uncle Fred Reain, fought for the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He always told stories of the situations he experienced on a daily basis.
In an interview with the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Reain recalled the time he got shot down over France. His plane had lost a wing and was spiralling out of control; the only option was to jump out of the plane and hope for the best.
Commander of the Canadian Armed Forces Fred Reain, survived the plane crash and lived a long life. He passed away on Dec. 5, 2005, at age 90.
Blanchette couldn’t believe the incidents that happened to her uncle and wishes she still had him here today.
“It almost makes me sad that we are so privileged today, and that so many people forget about what happened in the past,” Blanchette said.
Blanchette hopes that Canadians realize how strong and brave veterans are. She believes it is important to remember that they are the reason we have peace in Canada today.
Blanchette says one of the ways to remember and honour our veterans is by attending services and wearing poppies.
Student volunteers are planning a service in the University of Guelph-Humber’s north atrium on Nov.11.
This year, the University of Guelph-Humber is working with Postcards for Peace during their Remembrance Day service.
Postcards for Peace is a Canadian organization that allows residents to send letters to veterans fighting today.
At the service, post cards will be available for students to write thank you letters to the soldiers. Many of the letters are sent to the soldiers at Sunnybrook Health Services Centre.
Postcards for Peace media relations’ representative, Julie Daoust said, “We receive thousands of emails, postcards, and letters from students each year. Veterans are extremely glad to receive the letters, and look forward to them every year.”
Students can submit a thank you note through the Postcards for Peace website, or they can write in person at the service.
Victoria Baker, the student volunteer coordinator, has been involved with the service for the past three years.
“In the past as soon as the service starts students and faculty from all locations come from where ever they are to gather from the balcony and pay their respects,” Baker said.
Baker encourages all students and faculty to take a moment and pay respect.
Many professors have a break shortly before 11 a.m. allowing students the opportunity to attend part of the service.
The service begins at 10:45 a.m. with the famous war poem “In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae. A short speech, a moment of silence and the traditional trumpet song “The Last Post” will also be taking place during the service.
Baker said, “The service has had a lot of success in the past. Around 300 students and faculty attend. Each chair is full and every student walking by will stop and watch.”
Baker predicts the service this year will be another success.