Ponoka Air Cadets stand at attention during the St. Augustine School Remembrance Day commemoration on Nov. 8. The ceremony included students describing their trips to Canadian war cemeteries in Europe. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye Ponoka Air Cadets stand at attention during the St. Augustine School Remembrance Day commemoration on Nov. 8. The ceremony included students describing their trips to Canadian war cemeteries in Europe. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Students at St. Augustine honour fallen Ponoka soldiers

The school’s Remembrance Day ceremony recognized the sacrifices of past soldiers

Every single student at St. Augustine School had a focus on Remembrance Day.

The school held its Remembrance Day ceremony Nov. 8 with a strong focus on respect and honour for the soldiers who died in the name of their country.

The student-led high school program featured stories from the St. Augustine Travel Club, where the students who travelled to Europe and toured old war battle grounds and Canadian grave sites were able to speak about their experience and what it meant to them.

D-Day

The D-Day assault on Juno Beach stood out the most for Matthew Dela Cruz.

He spoke about his tour of the Juno Beach Centre and of the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division that took part in that fateful day.

“About 340 dead and 574 wounded Canadian soldiers at the end of the invasion, but by the end of the day the Allied forces succeeded in wresting control of the area from defending German troops,” he said.

“My classmates and I had the opportunity to walk the beach that day,” added Dela Cruz. “While I walked, I had the realization of how lucky I am to live in a free country.”

Vimy Ridge

For Amanda Huchkowski, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France is more than a memorial for the thousands involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

It is about the entire First World War.

“It stands as a tribute to all who served their country in battle and risked or gave their lives in that four year struggle,” she said.

The tour of the Vimy Memorial was cold and damp, but that didn’t stop the students’ hearts from being warmed. “…there is a very peaceful and serene atmosphere surrounding Vimy.”

The Canadian war cemeteries

The tour marked several Canadian grave sites, something that left a lasting impression on Madison Fleck.

There were literally thousands upon thousands of names they saw, but Fleck said the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery had a name close to home; it hosts the name of Ernest Myers, a soldier from Ponoka.

“It was strange to see someone so close to home when we were so far away, and it was strangely comforting,” said Fleck.

“He, just like so many others, gave up everything to protect our futures,” she added.

Menin Gate

There are over 54,000 names etched onto the walls of Menin Gate Memorial, explained Alexander Brackenbury.

Located in Ypres, Belgium, Brackenbury the show of respect for First World War soldiers is heartwarming.

“What makes this memorial stand out in my memories is that the Last Post has been held here daily, uninterrupted since 1927,” she explained.

“Despite their origin, their cultures or their upbringing , all of our brave servicemen and women fight for the same goal; a brighter and safer future for all of us.”

The ceremony included a slide show and music honouring the past soldiers.

Just Posted

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

WCPS looks to its schools and communities for new mission, vision, values and beliefs

WCPS’s Board looks to students, and staff in advance of larger community engagement

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Most Read