For students at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) remembrance is an important part of their learning.
The entire school took in a special Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 8 with a focus on looking back and learning from mistakes. It was also a time to hear from former PSC student Stephen Ferry, who is a Warrant Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces.
He recalls taking part in the same ceremonies current students take in but the veterans who spoke then, told of a different era of war. They spoke of the past world wars as well as the Korean War and the Cold War.
“They always spoke so kind to us, asking that we take the time, one day a year, to thank so many who sacrificed so much,” said Ferry. “Their bodies, their spirits and their lives for this country.”
He offered that it’s important for Canadians to understand the effort of these forces, who sacrificed much for the freedoms so valued in this country. Ferry included members of all the different forces who are asked to protect Canadians.
Adding to the long list of events in the First and Second World Wars, Ferry advised that it’s everyone’s responsibility to remember the major battles of those wars.
“Canadians gather for one day a year to remember our veterans. This school, this staff, and most importantly you students have made remembrance part of our daily lives and part of the culture on this campus,” said Ferry.
Noting the Broncs World Tour, Ferry praised students for their efforts in immortalizing past soldiers from Ponoka. The Cenotaph names would remain just that, names, if the tour wasn’t created.
“I’d like to thank all of you. You have assured this community (you) not only remembered, but will truly never forget,” said Ferry.
Along with the ceremony was the telling of the story of Pilot Officer George Cameron who was one of the Ponoka soldiers immortalized in the Cenotaph project.
His story and his life, which was presented by student Alex Mercer, is now a part of the PSC Hall of Valour.
Cameron was a teacher before joining the Canadian forces in the Second World War, explained Mercer, who went into detail about his experiences in that war.
“War is great tragedy and great loss,” offered Mercer, who said Cameron’s death fighting for Canada halted many future experiences.
After months of research and preparation, it highlights the need for remembrance.
The ceremony closed with the Last Post.