Air Cadet Sgt. Aaron Chalifoux (second from right) stands at attention with other cadets at St. Augustine Catholic School

Air Cadet Sgt. Aaron Chalifoux (second from right) stands at attention with other cadets at St. Augustine Catholic School

St. Augustine students take time for Canadian veterans

“(It was) a conflict that changed the world forever.” Jeffrey Harder, Canadian Forces veteran

Students at St. Augustine Catholic School heard what Remembrance meant directly from a veteran during their Remembrance Day ceremony last week.

High school students organized the ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 4 with an accompanying slideshow of the Highway of Heroes in Toronto, Ont. as well as a speech from Master Cpl. Jeffrey Harder, who has served in the reserves for some years and has also served in Afghanistan.

Sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers have ensured freedom for Canadians, explained Harder. “Sacrifices that let you choose how you want to be and how you want to live your life.”

He said the importance of those sacrifices can be summed up in the words “Lest we forget.”

“In every war, we’ve paid a tremendous price to be reminded that freedom is something that we need to be prepared to defend,” he added.

Harder said tens of thousands of soldiers died in order to ensure that freedom that Canadians get to enjoy today. He feels it is important to remember those sacrifices. One of the deadliest of world conflicts was the First World War, he added.

That conflict cost the lives of millions of people and involved many countries around the world. Harder also spoke on the Second World War, which claimed more than 60 million people; almost twice the population of Canada.

he stated.

Harder said the actions of those veterans helped shape the world to what it is today and he recommended keeping that strong in Canada’s history books. He also spoke on the Cold War and said efforts of Canadian soldiers ensured a safe country.

In 2001, two planes crashed at the twin towers of the World Trade Centre, which again changed the face of the world. Canadian Forces once again mobilized and travelled to Afghanistan. The War in Afghanistan claimed the lives of Canadian soldiers.

“Their sacrifices should not be forgotten,” said Harder.

Those efforts are immortalized in what is called the Afghanistan Memorial Vigil that recently travelled across Canada and the United States. It stopped in Ottawa, Ont. in time for that Remembrance Day commemoration.

Harder encouraged students to remain vigilant in keeping the stories of past wars alive.