KNES cel­e­brates Re­mem­brance Day

Kuwait Times - - WHAT’S ON -

This week stu­dents at Kuwait Na­tional English School (KNES) have been learn­ing about Re­mem­brance Day and par­tic­i­pat­ing in events and ac­tiv­i­ties that fo­cus on peace and tol­er­ance. This year marks the 98th An­niver­sary of the end of World War One. That war now seems like a very long time ago, es­pe­cially when there have been plenty of wars since then. But World War One changed the mod­ern world. For some peo­ple it de­fined the hor­ror of mod­ern war­fare in what turned out to be mankind’s blood­i­est era, the twen­ti­eth cen­tury. Mil­lions of men fought in the bat­tles from all across the world. Some­times they signed up to fight vol­un­tar­ily while oth­ers were con­scripted by their coun­tries gov­ern­ments to fight. All those in­volved left be­hind their fam­i­lies. Sadly many never re­turned home and those that did of­ten car­ried both phys­i­cal and men­tal scars from what they had been through and seen. The First World War was a To­tal war af­fect­ing all peo­ple in all ar­eas of life. Many young women trav­elled to the battle fields to be nurses and am­bu­lance drivers. Oth­ers worked in dan­ger­ous jobs in fac­to­ries or in agri­cul­ture help­ing to fill pro­vide much needed la­bor while the men were away fight­ing. Many women lost their hus­bands, sons, and broth­ers. For all those in­volved life would never seem the same again.

Once the ar­mistice was signed and the Great War as it was then known was over, many felt that the sac­ri­fice of all those peo­ple should not be for­got­ten. In 1919, on the first an­niver­sary of the Ar­mistice, a ser­vice was held. This was not just a na­tional act of re­mem­brance but an in­ter­na­tional one due to the global im­pact of the First World War. Now each year on the Sun­day near­est to 11 Novem­ber (Re­mem­brance Day) at 11 o’clock in the morn­ing, a Re­mem­brance Ser­vice is held.

The Poppy was adopted in 1921 by The Royal Bri­tish Le­gion as the sym­bol of Re­mem­brance. It was the first thing that grew back on the muddy fields af­ter the Great War ended. Many be­lieved the dead had sim­ply turned to poppies.

All over Bri­tain there are memo­ri­als to those who fought and dur­ing re­mem­brance and tol­er­ance week they will be cov­ered in wreaths of Poppies. They are to be found in city cen­ters, towns and vil­lages as well as rail­way sta­tions and univer­si­ties. Each one car­ries a long list of the names of peo­ple from that lo­cal area, work­place or uni­ver­sity. You may want to take time to read the names in­scribed on them be­cause they are the names of those who have died for our free­dom.

This year Kuwait Na­tional English School stu­dents have been in­volved in acts of re­mem­brance and tol­er­ance at the Bri­tish Em­bassy. KNES Staff and a group of stu­dents, many of whom are study­ing IGCSE His­tory, at­tended the event at the Em­bassy that was hosted by the Am­bas­sadors wife. The stu­dents, who ranged from Pri­mary through to Sixth Form, were give a tour of the gar­dens and a pre­sen­ta­tion by a Royal Navy Of­fi­cer and a Royal Air Force Of­fi­cer. All the stu­dents in­volved showed great ma­tu­rity and were honor­able am­bas­sadors for our school’s di­verse com­mu­nity. There fol­lowed an act of re­mem­brance and poppies were laid at the war me­mo­rial to re­mem­ber all those who have died for our free­dom as well as all those who have been and con­tinue to be af­fected by the hor­rors of war.

In school this week all stu­dents have con­tin­ued to learn about re­mem­brance and tol­er­ance. Re­mem­brance Day is a day of re­flec­tion. It al­lows us to re­mem­ber or think about all those peo­ple who are af­fected by wars, both in the past and now. It al­lows us to think about all those peo­ple who suf­fer in wars all around the world. And it re­minds us how im­por­tant it is to work for peace. All sec­ondary stu­dents were in­volved our an­nual Re­mem­brance and Tol­er­ance Assem­bly which took place in Re­mem­brance Sun­day. A two-minute si­lence was held to re­mem­ber all those who have lost their lives or been af­fected by war. Stu­dents con­trib­uted to the assem­bly by read­ing war po­etry, play­ing mu­sic and singing ap­pro­pri­ate songs that fo­cused on tol­er­ance.

It is im­por­tant to re­mem­ber all those who have died in wars for our free­dom. But, it is also im­por­tant to re­mem­ber all those peo­ple who have men­tal or phys­i­cal in­juries caused by war which they have to live with for the rest of their lives.

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