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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

2 dead, 8 hurt in South Carolina nightclub shooting

Police are searching for two suspects

Old Iron Horse Restaurant and Lounge gets $10K grant

Local small business, Old Iron Horse Restaurant and Lounge, owned by Tom… Continue reading

Ponoka RCMP lay charges following home invasion

On July 2, the Ponoka RCMP located and took one male into… Continue reading

57 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Friday

Central zone remains at three active cases

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Water supply update from ECN Chief Craig Makinaw

Ermineskin Cree Nation newsletter update

‘You have to show up:’ NDP MP questions virtual attendance of Alberta Tories

NDP MP McPherson says she’s disappointed Tory MPs haven’t been participating in virtual meetings

Flood warning, mandatory evacuation for people in remote Alberta hamlet

A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, Amnesty, sex worker advocates say

‘We need to make sure the existing laws on the books aren’t enforced’

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

Heavy rain floods southern Japan, leaving over dozen missing

Heavy rain floods southern Japan, leaving over dozen missing

At Rushmore, Trump says protesters seek to ‘defame’ heroes

At Rushmore, Trump says protesters seek to ‘defame’ heroes

Most Read