Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lest We Forget

Section 5 of BC School Regulation 265/89 clearly lays out the powers and duties of principals. Article 10 of this section states the following:
          "The principal of a school, must:
           (a) subject to the approval of the board, establish a program of school assemblies
             to be conducted at appropriate times during the school year,
           (b) ensure that assemblies are held at least 3 times in a school year, including the
            school day immediately preceding Remembrance Day

 That principals have a duty to hold assemblies through out the year is not remarkable; one would expect that. What is of note is that of all the holidays that fall within the school calendar only Remembrance Day merits particular reference. 

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month has been dedicated as a time of remembrance since November 1919, when it was first so named by England's King George V to honour members of the Allied armed forces who fell in World War I. In Canada Remembrance Day was formally established as a federal statutory holiday in 1931 as a date of " remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace".  The Department of Veterans Affairs runs the "Canada Remembers" program in order to better assist new and young Canadians, who have thankfully not known the horrors of war to "come to understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada in times of war, armed conflict and peace stand for and what they have sacrificed for their country."

This week staff and students from across SD 60 performed their own acts of remembrance, wearing poppies, reading works such as John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields, and participating in assemblies. On Monday schools will be closed, and while a long weekend at the outset of winter may be a welcome break, it is still important to pause and remember why the holiday occurs, and to recognize the tremendous sacrifice others made and make for us to enjoy what we have.

The Ode of Remembrance from "For the Fallen " by Robert Lawrence BInyon  

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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