I think everyone would agree that The Country Day School conducts our Remembrance Day ceremonies particularly well. As such, it was a tremendous honour, as Head of School, to bring a personal Remembrance Day message yesterday to the Middle/Senior and Junior School assemblies. Below is an excerpt of what I shared.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to cycle across much of Belgium and Holland in order to visit about a dozen Commonwealth War Cemeteries where some 5000 Canadian soldiers have been laid to rest.
Canadian graves include the typical details such as name, rank and age of the soldier, but they also share something very special. They contain a particular remembrance or saying, fashioned by the surviving family to honour the fallen. Having visited a large number of graves, I began to observe that some of the epitaphs contained rather bold messages – messages that were created in order to instruct us, in the future to take notice. Through these voices I was hearing:
We down here below the ground We paid a price To correct injustice To put the world right Don’t forget – we died We died, so you could be free
So now you up there Do everything you can Everything you can To make sure We don’t have wars like this again
To me, that is the highest form of remembrance. To me, they are telling us to build a peaceful, caring world. A world full of freedoms. A world that can sort things – without putting so many people down in the ground again.
Our soldiers were telling us – Our soldiers are challenging us
To never forget
And I am immensely proud that The Country Day School does remember.