By Sonya Anderson

Every year, from 8pm on November 10 until 8am on November 11th, cadets from the Navy League, Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, and Air Cadets stand vigil at the Cenotaph in downtown Barrie in 1 hour shifts. They rotate each hour and sleep at the Armoury until they are awakened for their next shift.

This year, as snowflakes gently fell, the air was still and silent, with only a few passersby to witness their tribute to a generation that gave everything, so selflessly, so that future generations could live in freedom.

Traditions of remembrance, such as vigil sentries, and school assemblies are important ways that our youth are honouring the Veterans of Canada and their families for the losses and sacrifices they have endured.

At a Remembrance Day ceremony held at Holly Meadows School in Barrie, Principal Stephen Case wanted to ensure that his students understood the protocols and symbolism of each part of the ceremony, explaining, for example, “The Act of Remembrance” and “Last Post” to the students.

Holly Meadows students, Army Cadet Cpl. Goddard, and Air Cadets Cpl. Idowu and Cpl. Anderson stand at vigil during their school’s Remembrance Day assembly.

To connect present-day youth to their peers of the past, a Veteran explained how the youth of the war-era helped support the community by taking on the chores of their family members who had left for the war.  Helping on the farm to bring food to the table was one of the most important ways that youth helped the war effort.

Over the past few years we seem to be witnessing a greater resurgence of appreciation for our Veterans and active Military Personnel, and our youth are showing us that they are eager and willing to continue with the tradition of remembrance for them.

Cover photo: Sonya Anderson.  Navy League, Army, Sea, and Air Cadets stand vigil at the Barrie Cenotaph.

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