SCS students pay tribute to fallen
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?”
Local army cadets Luke Brennan, left, and Kaishu Tasaka served as flag bearers for Remembrance Day ceremonies at Simcoe Composite School on Friday.
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.