SCS stu­dents pay trib­ute to fallen

Simcoe Reformer - - FRONT PAGE - CHRIS THOMAS

Sim­coe Com­pos­ite School stu­dents marked Re­mem­brance Day on Fri­day with a heart­felt and solemn cer­e­mony.

The gym­na­sium full of stu­dents was un­ac­cus­tomedly si­lent and re­spect­ful as a cer­e­mony pre­pared by stu­dents and staff re­mem­bered the sac­ri­fices of Canada’s armed forces in ma­jor world con­flicts.

Lo­cated ad­ja­cent to the iconic Nor­folk War Memo­rial, the school has its own wall of hon­our to com­mem­o­rate 46 for­mer stu­dents who have been killed in ser­vice to Canada, in­clud­ing Craig Blake, who was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan.

Guid­ance teacher Ja­son Dale re­called a “pall” fell over the school when Blake was killed.

“There were a lot of tears,” he said.

Fri­day’s cer­e­mony in­cluded a pair of flag bear­ers, Grade 10 stu­dents Kaishu Tasaka and Luke Bren­nan, who are mem­bers of Sim­coe Cadet Corps 2853. Both in­tend to join the mil­i­tary when they grad­u­ate.

“The mil­i­tary is cool and I want to serve my coun­try,” Tasaka said.

The virtues of mil­i­tary ser­vice were ex­plained by Bri­gadier Gen­eral Kerry Hor­lock, a SCS grad­u­ate in 1982.

“I joined out of a sense of duty and the chal­lenge,” Hor­lock told a group of stu­dents af­ter the cer­e­mony.

His al­most 30 years of ser­vice has taken him across canada and into ma­jor war zones, in­clud­ing bos­nia and afghanistan. cur­rently he is chief of Staff Sup­port, cana­dian Joint op­er­a­tions com­mand based in ot­tawa.

Hor­lock, who also vis­ited other lo­cal schools, con­fessed this was his first re­turn to Nor­folk county for a re­mem­brance day ob­ser­vance.

The SCS ser­vice in­cluded videos, mu­sic by the school band and spe­cial per­for­mances by brendan fran­cis­cope and Nolan Gib­son-ouel­let.

In wrap­ping up the cer­e­monies, Le­i­cia Kelly called on her fel­low stu­dents to keep mil­i­tary vet­er­ans in their minds more of­ten.

“Dur­ing the play­ing of our na­tional an­them each morn­ing we could choose to switch off from the world and make a con­certed ef­fort to stand at quiet, re­spect­ful at­ten­tion in our hall­ways and class­rooms,” she said,

“An­other thing we could con­sider do­ing is vol­un­teer­ing at our lo­cal Le­gion halls,” Kelly said. “Who knows, maybe we would hear some great sto­ries, meet some of our lo­cal heroes in the flesh or even learn a thing or two from their ex­pe­ri­ences and out­look on life and on what it means to be cana­dian?”

CHRIS THOMAS/SPE­CIAL TO SIM­COE RE­FORMER

Lo­cal army cadets Luke Bren­nan, left, and Kaishu Tasaka served as flag bear­ers for Re­mem­brance Day cer­e­monies at Sim­coe Com­pos­ite School on Fri­day.

CHRIS THOMAS/SPE­CIAL TO SIM­COE RE­FORMER

Bri­gadier Gen­eral Kerry Hor­lock, a Sim­coe Com­pos­ite School grad­u­ate, spoke with lo­cal stu­dents about his ex­pe­ri­ences and ca­reer in the Cana­dian Armed Forces fol­low­ing Re­mem­brance Day ob­ser­vances Fri­day.

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