Friday morning, Korah Collegiate held their Remembrance Day ceremony to honour our veterans. In addition to honouring the sacrifices our brave men and women have made and continue to make, the ceremony was especially significant this year as it marks 100 years since the end of the First World War, which took place from 1914 to 1918.
Major Bob Lambert, a member of the 49th Field Regiment and a math teacher at Korah, has spoken at every Remembrance Day ceremony since he started working at Korah in 2003.
This year, he spoke about Private John Pryce, the last Canadian solider to be killed in World War One, just two minutes before the war came to an end.
Lambert said he hopes stories like this one help both the staff and students find meaning behind these ceremonies.
He said he thinks telling these stories helps the students connect with the history of our country. He told SaultOnline he chose Private Pryce’s story because it resonated with him, but also because Sunday marks 100 years since his untimely death.
“There’s so much that you can pull from and to isolate it to one story, I think, is an appropriate thing in a service like today.”
Denine Williams, a music teacher and the choir director at Korah, told SaultOnline that they decided to do something special for this year’s ceremony. Her son, Evan sang Danny Boy, and the choir led Cohen’s Hallelujah.
“Hallelujah is such a wonderful piece of music that most of the kids know, so I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity when we had everyone in here to sing, to raise our voices for the brave soldiers that gave their lives in so many different wars,” she explained. “And so the choir sang along with the students and the staff singing the chorus.”
Williams explained that music was an important part of both World Wars – to rally the troops together and also to keep their spirits up.
She said she thinks that the use of music helps the students to resonate with the ceremony, as it’s a “whole different level of language.”
“It really opens your eyes and ears up to the sounds around you,” she said. “You could’ve heard a pin drop in here for almost the whole service. So it just shows to me a great amount of respect for today, but I definitely think music is something that pulls us all together.”
Both Williams and Lambert expressed the need to continue these ceremonies and to remember those who have fought for our freedoms.
“I think we need to remember our fallen and our currently serving members of the military. And it’s not just the military members that we’re remembering – there’s a number of folks here at home that participated in the war efforts,” Lambert said. “And we need to remind ourselves of the importance of the free country that we live in. It’s not free – it takes work and sacrifice from others.”