What We Do

Honoring the sacred sentiment of Remembrance,
while serving, promoting and acting

2022-2023 BC/Yukon Poster Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2022-2023 BC/Yukon Poster and Literary Contest Winners!

BC/Yukon students created fantastic posters, essays and poems that express what Remembrance means to them and their country.


Poster Winners

First Place

Senior Black and White Poster Winner

Cheng Peng

Branch #60 – West Vancouver

Second Place

Senior Black and White Poster Winner

Xi (Sara) Yang

Branch #61 – Delta

Third Place

Senior Black and White Poster Winner

Katya Bal

Branch #83 – South Burnaby

Honorouble Mention – Senior B&W – Abby Ackison – Branch #24 – Cranbrook

Honorouble Mention – Senior B&W – Samantha Frend – Branch #26 – Kelowna

Honorouble Mention – Senior B&W – Robyn Haagsman- Branch #141 – Dawson Creek

Honorouble Mention – Senior B&W – Johnny Jia Hao Wang – Branch #142 – West Point Grey

Honorouble Mention – Senior B&W – Olivia Brand – Branch #265 – Aldergrove

First Place

Intermediate Black and White Poster Winner

Lilah Smith

Branch #97 – Oliver

Second Place

Intermediate Black and White Poster Winner

Jiayi Liu

Branch #83 – South Burnaby

Third Place

Intermediate Black and White Poster Winner

Xu Hong (Amy) Chen

Branch #292 – Trafalgar

Honourable Mention – Intermediate B&W – Daniel Lee – Branch #142 – West Point Grey

Honourable Mention – Intermediate B&W – Zihao (Andy) Zeng – Branch #240 – Crescent

First Place

Junior Black and White Poster Winner

Mckenzie Lacasse

Branch #281 – Port McNeill

Second Place

Junior Black and White Poster Winner

Texas Weber

Branch #81 – Michel-Natal

Third Place

Junior Black and White Poster Winner

Cohen Scheper

Branch #15 – Abbotsford

Honourable Mention – Junior B&W – Eric Li – Branch #6 – Cloverdale

Honourable Mention – Junior B&W – Julia Dente – Branch #148 – North Burnaby

First Place

Primary Black and White Poster Winner

Elliot Skinner

Branch #277 – Diamond Head

Second Place

Primary Black and White Poster Winner

Benjamin Cho

Branch #6 – Cloverdale

Third Place

Primary Black and White Poster Winner

Indigo Mason

Branch #160 – Comox

First Place

Senior Colour Poster Winner

Kangli Zhou

Branch #142 – West Point Grey

Second Place

Senior Colour Poster Winner

Naomi Issel

Branch #11 – Trail

Third Place

Senior Colour Poster Winner

Anika Vandenberg

Branch #273 – Mackenzie

Honourable Mention – Senior Colour – Hyeonseo (Chloe) Yoo – Branch #114 – Lynn Valley

Honourable Mention – Senior Colour – Anna Se Souza  – Branch #229 – Whalley

First Place

Intermediate Colour Poster Winner

Chaelyn Han

Branch #142 – West Point Grey

Second Place

Intermediate Colour Poster Winner

Lauren Oostenbrink

Branch #295 – Chilliwack-Vedder

Third Place

Intermediate Colour Poster Winner

Vicky Chen

Branch #6 – Cloverdale

Honourable Mention – Intermediate Colour –  Carly Issel – Branch #11 – Trail

Honourable Mention – Intermediate Colour – Katelyn Morris – Branch #26 – Kelowna

First Place

Junior Colour Poster Winner

Eva Xu

Branch #83 – South Burnaby

Second Place

Junior Colour Poster Winner

Tony Si

Branch #8 – White Rock

Third Place

Junior Colour Poster Winner

Zoey Fidler

Branch #276 – Slocan

Honourable Mention – Junior Colour –  Aaleyah Olenick – Branch #49 – Mt. Arrowsmith

Honourable Mention – Junior  Colour – Alberta Kondtop – Branch #62 – Salmon Arm

Honourable Mention – Junior  Colour – Jasmine Hagerman – Branch #109 – Gibsons

First Place

Primary Colour Poster Winner

Sicheng Wang

Branch #142 – West Point Grey

Second Place

Primary Colour Poster Winner

Wyn Thingsred

Branch #62 – Salmon Arm

Third Place

Primary Colour Poster Winner

Nakung Lee

Branch #43 – Prince George #43

Honourable Mention – Primary Colour – Mack Dilling – Branch #15 – Abbotsford

Poetry Winners

First Place

Senior Poetry Winner

Miah Denis

Branch #26 – Kelowna

Remembering In Reverse

There is nothing wrong with war So don’t tell me

We should put down our weapons Because thousands of people are dying War is something the world needs You’ll never hear me say

Stop fighting We need to

Come to a realization that

The feuding that occurs between nations has no impact and We must be delusional when we say that

The world is full of hope

In fact, the truth some try to hide is that The world has little light left

It is not true when people say Love and peace is the answer We fail to see that

The world is driven by hate They would be right

People say we need to remember Because they gave us everything The soldiers gave us nothing

It’s foolish to say

We must remember each and every one of them and We will never forget


Reverse Poem

A poem that can be read from top to bottom and bottom to top having different meanings

Second Place

Senior Poetry Winner

Hyaa Qazi

Branch #29 – Creston Valley

The Sky

He was a boy who loved to paint the sky

The purple-pink blues that faded into the night

Every sunset he spent capturing all of the celestial sphere

Before his paintbrush was traded for a rifle

He was a boy who loved to paint the sky

Until his innocence was stolen overnight

And the warmth was traded for shadows of uncertainty

He was a boy who loved to paint the sky

Now his art supplies run dry

The bullets overhead a death march

His desperation to create worlds of art

Swapped with bandages and penicillin

And the pivotal nights became opportunities for insanity

And now he has come back home

With a brand new canvas

And a fresh sky up above

Indelible slashes trace his heart and mind

Reminqing him of the war he fought

The morning dawn was tainted with blood

Shed from the allegiance of sacrifice

Now there is a new painting on the canvas

There is no room left

To paint the sky

Third Place

Senior Poetry Winner

Keirah Giles

Branch #191 – Chemainus

Your Sacrifice

The day you came home, I remember it too clearly. Mama wailing in the office, a letter on the desk.

Papa holding back his sobs, as I curled into his chest.

Their only son, their boy, was finally coming home, just not in the way any of us would have hoped.

The letter came first, then the box with you.

They said you’d sacrificed yourself  to save a friend or two I was so little, so angry, so hurt, but I cared.

As Mama dressed me in black, and stuck bows in my hair.

The day came too soon you were lowered into the ground, a white cross marked your grave, and trumpets nearby sound.

Did the war know what it had taken? Did it know what we lost?

Did the enemy soldiers feel regret when you were shot?

Or did they kill you in cold blood, untouched by your death, Did they think about the way my tears would shed?

A few words for an apology. An end of a life.

My dead brother, I promise not to forget your sacrifice.

First Place

Intermediate Poetry Winner

Beverly Blackmore

Branch #29 – Creston Valley

You Said You’d Be Alright

You said you’d be alright, not to worry at all,

You said you’d be just fine, expect you back by fall.

You wasted not a second, in your great hurry,

So excited to go, you brushed away my worry.

With a quick kiss goodbye, you rushed right out the door,

I wished you good luck, ’cause you just seemed so sure.

Each day Iwaited patiently, for your happy news;

I was so eager to find how this new life suited you.

My excitement soon shif ted to fear, which boarded on the lines of frustration,

I wanted to keep busy, but i had no concentration,

After hearing from many sources all the death and devastation.

I tried so hard to control my reckless imagination.

When the letter finally came, I was afraid to hope,

For in another’s writing; the message neatly wrote;

“I’m sorry to inform you-” My heart then sank with dread,

“Your oh so dear husband John-” Next it’d say you were dead.

“Is hospitalized in Winnipeg-” I sighed with relief,

Not for the fact that you were hurt, but the news that you still breathed.

I continued the message and as I reached the end-

’twas clear I’d have to hurry, if I wished to see you again.

You were barely holding on to life, was all I understood,

My heart was breaking in two, and I packed as fast as I could.

I caught the first train, that made it to the station,

And waited impatiently, as I pondered your dreadful situation.

When I made it to the hospital, people were rushing to and from,

I quickly stated my name, and business and was told where to go.

I raced up the stairs and ran into your room,

But I wasn’t sure if the broken body on the bed could be you.

When I saw all your injuries, the whole war I did curse

But then you smiled at me so bittersweetly, and my heart nearly burst,

My eyes filled with tears when I thought of what you meant to me,

how I wish you could have lived, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be…

Second Place

Intermediate Poetry Winner

Antonina Hallonquist

Branch #118 – North Vancouver

Lost Souls

Sleeping souls, no longer quake,

lost to the skies and poppy lakes,

blood was spilt, grave mistakes,

now our soldiers no longer wake.

The nights go still, there goes the thrill,

our loved souls spill, yet another kill.

Their eyes go dull, embrace the silence,

hearts pry away from all the violence.

Families and friends lose their smiles,

left to hunt for new desires,

windows close, emotions’ seal,

gone the love that makes one heal.

Day by day, the darkness grows,

memories repose, and begin to decompose.

Hope the afterlife treats you well,

empires of pure, golden, cloud pastels;

ones where weapons seize to dwell,

where hurt and pain scatter and dispel.

May the poppy seeds fly to this world,

bringing joy to the lost souls who fought to repel.

Creating lakes of poppies that mirror our world,

where songs of bells begin to knell.

Third Place

Intermediate Poetry Winner

Belinda Mou

Branch #43 – Prince George

The One Who Sacrificed

The last gun shot wailed.
It carried through the devastated air
like an arrow with a destination.
And death, watching slowly.

But how strange it was,
a beautiful flower.
A poppy.
It lay and grew beside the resting soldiers,
enfolding them.

Such deep crimson hues and amber shade,
To represent the blood that has been shed,
and how they were oh so afraid.

The terror of the screams,
The haunting dreams,
that will be forever scarred in soldiers memories.
All vain cries of a conflict done
fallen to rest again;
Death’s refuge won.

They did not sacrifice their life in vain.
We shall not forget.
We will not forget.

First Place

Junior Poetry Winner

Cheyenne Stephen

Branch #274 – Fraser Lake

Great Grandpa’s Hands

Not long ago Great Grandpa’s hand held mine

Once strong, young, mighty and fine

Pointed to countries on the map

As I sat calmly on his lap.

Not long ago Great Grandpa’s eyes looked at me

Once they were clear and could see easily

His eyes smiled through his glasses lens

As he talked about his army friends.

Not long ago Great Grandpa’s ears could hear

Once they were strong and clear

His ears remembered the happy sound

Of victory and guns laid down.

Not long ago Great Grandpa’s heart beat right

Once with energy, courage, and all it’s might

His heart loved Canada his country

As he fought for us to be free.

Now Great Grandpa’s hands are at rest

Quiet and calm because he did his best

Freedom and love he gave to me

Now I choose to live peacefully.

Second Place

Junior Poetry Winner

Gavin Baerg

Branch #97 – Oliver

Remember Their Song

I hear gunshots and explosions as dawn breaks overhead.

I look to see my friends and comrades lying in fields of red.

With white crosses where the poppies grow

I feel the wind begin to blow.

Remember me, remember me, my lost friends sing,

when there is winter there is also always spring.

I fought for freedom,  I fought for peace.

I fought for  you, my friend,  and the war to cease.

My teardrops fall with the morning rain.

I hear them singing to me: hope comes from their pain.

Our dying  wish is that you remember who we were,

Remember what we fought for,  remember our pra yer.

When the dust settles, war’s end will be near,

Have courage and faith, and do not fear.

Remember to always stand tall and true,

For we are always standing and therefor you.

Remember me, remember me, my lost friends sing,

For when there is winter, there is also always spring.

I fought for freedom,  I fought for peace.

I fought for you, my friend, and for all wars to cease.

Third Place

Junior Poetry Winner

Claire Tong

Branch #60 – West Vancouver

Long long ago on November 11th,the war had ended.

Thousands of soldiers returned home to their families

Thousands of soldiers didn’t

Thousands of soldiers passed their story on

Thousands of soldiers didn’t

Now, on November 11th we take a pause

As our high flying flags are lowered

We pin a poppy

We take a two minute silence

For all the brave soldiers lost in the war

For all the brave soldiers here with us today

For all the brave soldiers who experienced these terrifying moments

Who fought for our country,and our freedom

Your hard work is here with us every day

In our every step, every breath, every blink

We have this peace

Because of you

We will never forget the things you’ve done for us

We will never forget every soldier’s toil and struggle

We will always remember you

Essay Winners

First Place

Senior Essay Winner

Nora Snider

Branch #254 – Whitehorse

His Father. Her Husband

The boy stood silently in the graveyard, a cold November wind blowing the poppy in his hand gently to the side. He wasn’t quite sure why he was standing there in the first place, but there were a few things he knew for certain. He knew the name on the gravestone before him, Ethan Blanchet, because it was the name important grown-ups called his dad . He knew that his dad was a soldier, which his mother had told him was another word for a hero, smiling at the wide-eyed  admiration on the boy’s face as she said it.

His mother didn’t smile much anymore, not since the man had come to the door and told them that Lieutenant Blanchet wasn’t coming home. She wasn’t smiling now either, and

although the boy couldn’t see her behind him, he knew she was hold ing back tears. It was in her shuddering breaths, the trembling of her hand as it rested on his little shoulder. The boy may not have been old enough to understand grief, but her sadness was easy for him to grasp.

Without a word, the boy turned around and offered up the poppy in his hand . A surprised look came over his mother’s face, just before she smiled. It wasn’t a true smile, but it was all the boy needed . The mother knelt to the boy’s height. She shook her head and pushed the flower away, though not unkindly. His mother pointed at all the other red flowers lining her husband ‘s grave, poppies shivering in the breeze. An understand ing passed between them, and together they laid their flower among the others.

Something clicked  inside the boy’s mind, and tears started to pour down his face. His mother wrapped him in her embrace as soon as she saw the first droplet fall, and soon, their joined  sobbing filled the autumn air. Though they each tried to speak of their pain, to explain  why they were hurting, their voices broke too fast for words to follow. Not that there was a need for words when the message was so clear.

It was the mother who broke the hug first, knowing that it would have to end eventually.

She had n’t wanted to stay out in the cold this long. Standing, she grabbed her son’s hand and helped him up to his feet, telling him that they needed to go. He shook his head, but after the promise of a warm car, he eagerly grabbed her hand and followed her.

They exited the graveyard and entered the streets, walking for what felt like ages in the chill. The mother dragged her son along with a brisk pace, passing by many people as they walked . It quickly became apparent that most of them had their eyes closed and their head bowed . A small smile crept its way onto her face. It must have been 11:11 now, she reasoned, which meant that all these people were thinking about her husband and others like him. In her heart, however, she knew that as soon as those two minutes were done, they would go back to

their regular lives until the next November  11th. She would n’t be able to do that, and there was a good chance_tliat her son would n’t be able to either. She would be thinking about a soldier’s sacrifice every day that she lived, stuck in two minutes of remembrance that would not end .

Second Place

Senior Essay Winner

Keanu Chan

Branch #24 – Cranbrook

Endless Reminder

“Time to get ready for Jamie’s concert,” Ann calls from downstairs. John sits on his bed, staring at the unrecognizable figure in the mirror. He hears a voice with a commanding tone.

“Attention private! Your dreams have come true,” the man says sarcastically. “You are being deployed. Get ready and get out.”

“Yes sir!”John replies. ·

“Did you say something, John?” Ann asks, “or are you just talking to yourself,” she chuckles.

John puts on layers of thick clothing. His kevlar vest, backpack oflead, a helmet that isn’t stopping anything, and boots that cannot compete with mud. He places a picture of his pregnant wife into his breast pocket and goes out the door.

“Wow John! That new suit looks great on you. You will be the sharpest person there,” Ann says with a smirk. “Now let’s get going, otherwise we are going to be late.”

They hop into the armoured vehicle. Ten guys crammed in the flatbed, off to serve their country. The other guys are cracking jokes, but John cannot shake the thought of what is to come.

An air siren screams at the top of its lungs, not interrupted by a single breath. As it seizes, their vehicle comes to a violent halt.  John’s body flies forward, unrestrained.

“Whoah! Sorry John, some drivers can be very reckless. I guess that’s why we’re wearing seatbelts,”Ann frustratingly says.

John does not reply. He just stares from the front seat at the world around him. No expression is seen, at least not from the exterior.

Upon arrival, the crowd enters into a small local theatre. They go silent as the curtains draw open.

“Hello parents, guardians, and loved ones. Thank you for coming to the show. Without you this would not be possible. Up first we have our grade 5 concert band,” the principal announces.  After a round of applause, the conductor waves his arms and counts the band in.

“One… two… one, two, three, four.” Barn. Ready to fight at the next hit of the drum.

Barn. John flinches, but it is only his heart trying to burst through the seams of his skin. Next is a steady and overpowering stream of sound. The sound of gunfire. The sound of death. Barn. It

was inevitable. An outside force pulls him through the mud with every stride. The force of reliance from his family and friends back home and everyone else to come after.

“Hey, John. Are you okay?” Ann urgently asks. No response. “John?” She asks again. “What? Oh, ya, they sound great,” John hastily replies.

“Itjust looked like you were staring at a wall,” Ann uncomfortably laughs.

Trumpets blare. A sound that has been played as all of his friends were laid to rest. As

they fulfil their final duty while serving their country and as he punches his pin into their caskets.

Applause fills the theatre once again as the principal steps back on stage.

“Next we will have another tour where John will get to see the death of more of his friends. Isn’t that right John? John? John?”

“John?” The young lady screams. “John?” She screams louder. “John, where are you?” Thick smoke fills the air while the incessant sound of gunfire pierces the occasional silence.

“What?” John asks confusingly. “I’m sitting right next to you. I’m right next to you,” he whispers. Ann’s eyes are overcome with a glossy layer that builds up like a dam, until it cannot hold back another drop.

“When are you coming back,” Ann quietly cries. “You’re in your own land most of the time. I miss you. Your son misses you.”

“I’m sorry. I am so sorry”. He looks back at the young lady, blood covering the red cross on her nurse’s uniform.

“It’s hard to come back, Ann. Even harder than it was to leave,” John says with lips slightly quivering.

“Ifyou are as strong as I know you are, you will fight your way back,” Ann says while wiping away tears.

The crowd exits the theatre. Some stay back to greet the performers. Jamie is helping clear the stage as John walks up to him.

“Dad!”Jamie shrieks. John goes in for a hug and is met with a warm embrace. He tightly grasps the life left within the fallen soldier. He ignores the warmth of the blood as it pours on his abdomen. He empties pockets full of supplies, love letters and photos. Finally, he takes the ring off the finger and the tags around his neck. He lays him to rest alone, but not lonely and he fights to stand up and move on.

“Great job Jamie, I am so proud of you,” says John.

Jamie replies with a smile, “Thank you dad, I am even more proud of you.”

Third Place

Senior Essay Winner

Karina Benson

Branch #61 – Delta

Learning How to Remember

November 11, 11AM. Remembrance Day. I’ve experienced quite a few Remembrance Days in  my l ife, along with  all the school ceremonies and moments of silence. When  I was younger,  I used  to  question  these  things. I would  wonder why we had  to wear  poppies, why the occasion was so solemn, and why we weren’t allowed  to clap at the end of a speech or song. Now that I’m a bit older, I’ve gained a better understanding of the purpose of Remembrance Day and why we take part in it. Each Remembrance Day I experience, I learn more about why it’s important and I discover more about  its history. Admittedly, knowing what I know about Remembrance Day now,  I’m  a bit  ashamed that I ever questioned  it or thought  that it was unnecessary, even though  I know I wasn’t supposed to  have fully understood it at such a young age. I’m glad that I know more about it now and that I’m able to pay my respects to the soldiers who will never realize the impact they’ve made for us, decades later.

Recently, I watched a movie about the  Battle  of Passchendaele in WW1. Watching  it forever changed  the way I will view war.  It showed  the battles. It showed  the death, the blood,  the loss, and  the conditions that the soldiers fought in. It wasn’t at all like I had imagined war  to be. It was more bloody and horrific than anything my mind could have come up with on its own, and that was only a piece of  the battle and a fraction of the war. Those sold iers had  to  endu re cond itions  like  chat for days, months, and years. They travelled overseas and fought a foreign enemy in a foreign land. Those events really happened. What soldiers  saw, did  and experienced was so awful that  a person  couldn’t even  begin  to picture  it wi thout it being shown direccly to chem. The courage  these men and women had to fight in a war they may not have understood is undeniable. I have no idea how they faced this and  still emerged victorious, but  I  owe so much to them  because of it. Now I know  that we have to educate ourselves about war and realize the significance of never  repeating  these events again, to preserve  the peace that Canadian soldiers gave their lives for.

Throughout the Remembrance Day ceremonies I’ve experienced, the way I think abou t the 2 minu tes of  silence has changed the most. Instead of waiting, my mind blank, for the silence to be over, now I chink not just about what the soldiers did for us, but abou t who they were and what kind of people they could have been. How many left behind families and people that loved them? How many weren’t supposed to fight, but did so anyway? It’s important 10 remember the soldiers and not just  their actions. It’s important to me to try and make them people, not just men who gave their lives for this country, because even though they all did chat, they were all people as well. People with personalities and fam ilies and lives away from the battlefield. In my though ts, I try to make those men  more than numbers on paper and names on tombstones. Tha t’s how I want to remember the soldiers who fought so hard for us and our way of life during the 2 minutes of silence and after it as well.

So, with this learning and reflecting, I can finally begin co answer the question: What does Remembrance Day mean? It’s a question with many answers as all around the world people have a different view of what Remembrance Day means to them. To me, though, Remembrance Day means acknowledging the sacrifices of the soldiers who fou gh t for us. It means knowing how many Canadians fought and died for a better future. It means wearing poppies to show our support for the Armed Forces and our dedication to remembrance. It is a time to grieve for lost loved ones, and to remember the brave actions of the Canadians who have fought for this country are something that can never be repaid. There are still many more answers I could give, but chose will come with more learning and experience.

Something else I have learned from Remembrance Day is the importance of saying thank you, so I will say it now. Thank you to the survivors, the injured, the captured and the dead. To the soldiers and to the veterans. If there is one thing that we are certain of today, it is that we wouldn’t be where we are right now if it weren’t for you. That sacrifice, and you, will always be remembered.

First Place

Intermediate Essay Winner

Jack Wang

Branch #6 – Cloverdale

On the Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, and Eleventh Hour

Every year, on the eleventh month, eleventh day, and eleventh hour, we commemorate. We remember the soldiers’ sacrifices for a better world, and a better future. We appreciate what they have done for us. We reflect why they fought for our country, why they risked their lives for our freedom. Today, in a moment of somber silence, we sincerely commemorate and honour the selflessness and fearlessness of the soldiers who have fought in the many wars of the past.

Remembrance Day has truly made me appreciate the sacrifice of Canadian soldiers. The soldiers fought even in the most daunting times, facing fear with bravery, and darkness with hope. Today, we remember you. In Canada, we have many freedoms that we take for granted. We have freedom of speech and press, and every Canadian citizen has the right to vote. For this, I am grateful. Many countries don’t have these freedoms and we do not realize how lucky we are to live in such a society. We have these freedoms because our soldiers fought for them. Not British soldiers, not French soldiers, but Canadian soldiers. On the eleventh month, eleventh day, and eleventh hour, we remember.

When I was little, my parents would tell me to have a hero to look up to. A hero to me doesn’t mean the people with fictional superpowers. Heroes, to me, means people who are willing to stand up for what they believe is right, for their country, and for their loved ones. Heroes, to me, means people who protect others, who stand up for others, when others suffer. These heroes proudly serve their country and bravely stand in battle; on the eleventh month, eleventh day, and eleventh hour, we appreciate.

We should all find the meaning in the soldier’s sacrifices. The soldiers sacrificed many things because they had belief and hope in a better future. I can’t imagine what it would be like on the battlefield. Screams of dying men, bodies scattered left and right, bullets whizzing past of which each could mean your death. We should reflect on the things we can do to support our veterans. For instance, wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day, flying the Canadian flag, and raising or donating money are just a few of the many ways you can do to support veterans. It is imperative that we reflect on how crucial our soldiers were in the various wars of the past. On the eleventh month, eleventh day, and eleventh hour, we reflect.

Today is a day of remembrance. I remember. You remember. We together should all remember the legacy of our soldiers who have fought. They fought for and believed in a brighter future and a better world, and it is our job to honour them by not only remembering, but also understanding the purpose of their sacrifice. On the eleventh month, eleventh day, and eleventh hour, we honour.

Second Place

Intermediate Essay Winner

Brian Guo

Branch #60 – West Vancouver

Thank you, real Superheroes!

When I was little I was enthralled by superheroes, particularly Superman, he was seemingly an ordinary “mild-mannered” man, but was courageous in his fight for “truth and justice”. I loved to witness his heroics. He was “…faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, …bend steel with his bare hands, and… change the course of mighty rivers…” He possessed advanced mental and physical powers but his greatest attributes were his kindness and self­ sacrifice. He was a great role model. Iwanted to be able to save the world like him.

As kids, we imagine superheroes are real. We soon learn that superheroes are merely fictional characters in a made-up world. The threats we face in the real world require real heroes. While children proudly display fictional icons on clothing, lunchboxes, and backpacks, they are quite oblivious to the fact that real superheroes exist in the world who are truly deserving of honor and recognition. Veterans are superheroes who have selflessly protected us from the evils of the world. We should remember our heroes, honour and take care of them. Younger generations should understand that, although veterans may look like everyday citizens, they are in fact the superheroes that should be idolized for their heroics.

Just like fictional superheroes, veterans have bravely faced unimaginable threats and sacrificed themselves for our safety. Veterans, who strive for peace and justice, are to be revered as Supermen and Superwomen. We should recognize their heroism, knowing thatwithout their protection the world we live in would be in peril. We should remember the sacrifice of those who serve, including the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP. On Remembrance Day, there are symbolic things we do to celebrate and commemorate veterans. We wear our poppy with pride and tribute to the fallen soldiers. We observe two minutes of silence, at 11 am, to remember. In our everyday lives, we should also find ways to honor veterans. We can plant gardens of poppies, the emblems of our heroes. We can study history, visit museums, monuments, or online sites such as the Virtual Wall of Honour, keep the stories and memories of our heroes alive.

Most importantly, it is our duty to take care of the heroes who sacrificed. At the very least, when encountering veterans, smile broadly and say thank you. Acknowledge the fact that superheroes are indeed real. To be more proactive in your approach, you might support veterans by volunteering at the Legion, creating outreach programs, charitable fundraising campaigns to help those in need, planning school or community events to connect with veterans, or help show love and gratitude through letter writing, and other art projects.

As we look “up in the sky” to the stars, to remember and honor, be grateful for the sacrifice of heroes.   Our veterans, who fight against all evils, ignite flames of hope in dark despair. It is thanks to them that it is still possible for children to believe in heroes.

Third Place

Intermediate Essay Winner

Javraj Lidder

Branch #192 – South Similkameen

Dear Father

Are you safe? Are you hurt? I pray for your safety everyday knowing that there must be an end to this brutal war and day when I will meet you again. No matter what happens during the day the painful feeling of sadness will not leave me until you return. Whenever  little brother cries in fear, Iremind him that our fearless and brave father has gone to war to protect his country and reclaim freedom for his beloved country. Since you have left, mother has not been the same and is desperately missing the safety and comfort you provide at home. Even though she tries to look happy and be her normal self, I see a restless look in her eyes and an anxious tone in her voice .

As I promised to you the day you left two years ago, I am trying my absolute best to take care of mother and brother, but as hard as I can try there is no replacing you. Ever since you left food has been scarce, so mother has had to begin working another shift during the night just to put food on the table. Some nights food is so short that there is only enough for two of us. On those nights, mother always tells brother and I to eat and refuses to take my share when I offer it to her.

I am saddened to inform you of the loss of a very special person in your life, Mr. Copper. I want to tell you that Mr. Copper went out like a true hero fighting against three enemy soldiers in the deep and bloody trenches in France. We went over to the Coppers to provide our support, but Icould not sleep all night in fear if this happened to you. Ican not describe the pain and suffering Isaw in Mrs. Copper’s eyes, and I fear that she will never recover from this horrible loss.

I heard in school that many of our soldiers are getting weak, because there is a shortage of water and food. Please tell me the honest truth of if you are getting fed and if you are feeling weak. I pray for your strength, and look forward to the day when I can hug you tightly in my arms.

Love you father, please write back. Your son,

Michael Myers

First Place

Junior Essay Winner

Julius Schagel

Branch #277 – Diamond Head

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is when we remember the people that f ought during war and military conf licts. Wearing a red poppy is a way to honour those men and women who served and continue to serve our country in such conf licts as WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Afghanistan’s peacekeeping missions among others. Every year Remembrance Day is held on November 11th, the day World War 1 ended (on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.) Remembrance day used to be called Armistice day.

Many soldiers died in these conf licts, but not all the people that died were soldiers. Ordinary civilians died from bombings and weapons, fires, lack of food/clean water and many other terrible things. The conditions for the soldiers in many of these wars were horrible. In the first world war, they dug trenches to hide in and shoot at their opponents. The trenches filled up with water when it rained and their clothes and boots would stick to their skin.  They had to endure these harsh living conditions and many suf fered serious medical and psychological ailments on top of the injuries they may have suf f ered at the hand of their enemies. They also did not have access to healthy f ood and clean water. Their f ood was of ten packaged and rationed.

In the second world war, more complex weapons were involved such as tanks, and in almost all wars, soldiers breathe in awf ul chemicals and are exposed to dangerous things. In World War 1and World War 2 all soldiers who f ought overseas in the Canadian army were volunteers. There was a draft for home defense duties, but none of  them went overseas to fight.

The Canadian Legion was f ormed to provide a strong voice f or World War 1 veterans. However, the advent of World War 2 created more demands. The Legion expanded to help offer more dedicated support to veterans and those serving abroad. Remembrance Day was made a holiday by King George in 1918 af ter World War 1 ended and people started wearing poppies in 1921.

Second Place

Junior Essay Winner

Juniper Walton-Rodgers

Branch #91 – Prince Edward

What Remembrance Day Means To Me 

Remembrance Day is on the eleventh day of the eleventh month on the eleventh hour. On remembrance day there is an assembly at most schools, there is always a moment of silence to think about what happened when the war was happening. Usually assemblies are to celebrate exciting things that have happened, but the Remembrance Day assembly is very sad so there is no clapping.

When I think about Remembrance Day my heart fills with sadness for all those soldiers who never made it home, and for all the families that suffered so much, all the children whose moms and dads left and never came home. But behind all that sadness is hope and thankfulness for all the soldiers that did make it and are here today to share the story.

From World War One and Two nearly ten million soldiers died, and nearly twenty one million were wounded. My great grandpa, who fought in the war, was lucky enough to not be one of those soldiers, but died before I was able to meet him.

All over the world many people (including me) wear poppies on Remembrance Day. The reason we wear them is because when the wars were happening on the battlefields poppies grew. One of those fields was called Flanders Fields; it is in a place called Belgium. A person named John Mccrae wrote a poem about Flanders Fields. One of my favorite quotes from Flanders Fields is this: “In Flanders Fields the poppies grow between the crosses row on row” this part of the poem reminds me of all the people young and old who perished in the war.

When I think about Remembrance Day, Ithink about poppies, I think about Flanders Fields, I think about peace and freedom, but I also think about death and loss. That is what Remembrance Day means to me.

Third Place

Junior Essay Winner

Matthew Myrfield

Branch #293 – Alberni Valley

Why I Remember

More than a century ago, on the 11th day,in the 11th month, during the 11th hour,this world finally found peace. After years of pain and despair,the brave soldiers that fought so far from home, were finally reunited with their beloved families.

We now know this day as Remembrance Day. Each year on November 11th, as Iwear a poppy over my heart, hear the glorious sound of the trumpet in the last post, and stand for a moment of silence, I remember all the heroic men and women that battled for my freedom.

I take pride in this beautiful country that Iam so fortunate to call my home, and realize that without these fearless leaders, canadian citizens would not have the opportunities we are blessed with today. I realize that without soldiers giving up their lives, my life would be truly unpredictable. This is something I will never take for granted.

As I sit here, I wonder what life for the returned soldiers must have been like. All the sorrow and painful memories with them, each and every day,reminding them of the anguish they lived through. How do you move forward ? How do you go on ? How do you just be ? My only notion is with faith. Having faith can get you through even the darkest, saddest, most traumatic times. God has the power to strengthen and carry you through anything!

Although I am young,I do realize the significance of Remembrance Day and what it truly means to Canada.  I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices which were made for me, for you, and for this country.So on this day, I open my heart to remember the people that were lost, friends and fami ly that didn’t come home, and soldiers whose lives have been changed forever.