We remember. We remember the countless lives that were lost due to war. We remember a doctor and a poet. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was born in Guelph. When posted in France after the death of his dear friend Lieutenant Alexis Helmer who passed away due to war, he wrote his famous poem In Flanders Fields. Many of our classes went and visited his childhood home here in Guelph. They remembered how important peace was, and reflected on how much we take for granted. And in last week’s chapel we remembered how fortunate we are. We learned what the word ‘remember’ means. It means to put back together, specifically memories.
This month we are learning about peace, which is a part of what we are learning with our theme verse this year, the Fruit of the Spirit. We hope to allow our hearts to turn to peace. We think of the many places where people live without peace. We pray for them, and we remember that even if we have peace, not all people do. There is not peace everywhere. Our Grade 2 class with Mrs. Klassen have worked hard to help us remember peace. In their class presentation they told us the famous poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, and we learned the meaning of peace from them, and they taught us what it means to live with and without peace.
In Flanders Fields
By John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That marks our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce was heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
As I mentioned earlier several classes visited the John McCrae house. I have a few words from the students that visited about what they thought of the place.
“It was old and it was like you saw history, when people dressed up it was fascinating to see what they looked like then.” – Catherine Geldart, a Grade 5 student
“It was very educational and it was a good experience to have. The field trip should be continued because it was a very good way to remember the people who died in the war. It was a very good experience. I would definitely go again.” – Brooke Pyper from Grade 8
“It was very informative about the lives of people living in eras before us, and how people served and protected us throughout the years.” – Ellie Wylie from Grade 8
Now I have a few words from students about what remembrance day means to them
“Remembrance Day means to me to remember all the people who fought for Canada.” – Ava Gerber from Grade 4
“Remembering the people who fought in the war.” – Abram Goodchild from Grade 3
“Remembering those who are in a war and who fought in was celebrating and thanking them for what they did.” – Selma Trollip from Grade 7
“It means to respect and no the soldiers from all religions and races who served for our country.” – Romario Mukama from Grade 8
What does peace mean to you? We have a few words from some of grade 8 students
“The harmony of all people, in the absence of war.” – Grace Schuurman
“Peace means an inner calmness in things around you.” – Nathan Hamel
“Peace means to live without conflict, peace means that you won’t have to worry, peace means that the people you love are on your side.” – Ruby Stoter