It is that time of year where we pause to remember those who paved the way for us to live in peace.
I always encourage students to enter the essay and poetry contest sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion. You see the national winners, representing the youth of Canada laying the wreath at the War Memorial in Ottawa each year.
Lewis Fang. last year, started with an, “I don’t have any connection to the wars or remembrance…” Then, with some research, some conversations, some thoughtfulness and some creativity, he composed this winning essay.
Lewis won first place locally and first place regionally, going on to compete on the provincial level for BC and the Yukon in the Junior Essay Division.
I hope his story inspires you to take your moment of silence on Monday.
My Moment of Silence
By: Lewis Fang
The left side of my chest. My heart beats under it. A heart that feels the pain of many people who suffered and died. I pin a red poppy there every year on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This connects me to hundreds of thousands of people out there who sacrificed their lives for their families and people that they didn’t know. The poppy represents bravery and sadness, but at the same time love and encouragement. A poppy symbolizes freedom and safety for our country.
Every year we have a Remembrance Ceremony at school. When the moment of silence began, my head used to be filled with unimportant things like my upcoming classes and who I might play with at recess.
Now, in the moment of silence, I think about the kids who lost their dads in war. Now I imagine their faces and what they would be thinking. The kids would look out the window every day hundreds of times with tears filling their eyes and their moms would be trying to calm them down.
Now, in the moment of silence, I think about how the soldiers felt when they were facing death. I think about how they found the courage to go on the battlefield, facing gunpoint.
Now, in the moment of silence, I think of how my personality would be affected if someone I loved disappeared from the world. Would a soldier’s family have felt the same way? How did they make the decision to leave their families and go to war?
Now, in the moment of silence, I give thanks to all of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for us, for our rights and our freedom. I give thanks for all the soldiers who refused to let their country down and went to war without a second thought.
Now, in the moment of silence, I think about all the things that my poppy represents. I put my hand on my heart and remember the thousands of hearts, both now and in the past that it connects me to.