Christensen has memorable experience in Ottawa on November 11
Hannah Christensen from Ponteix School had a once-ina-lifetime experience of laying a wreath at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa on November 11.
Christensen was one of four youth who joined together and placed a wreath during the ceremony after winning categories in the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual Poster and Literary Contest.
Christensen won Senior First Place in the Poetry category of the contest for her poem “A Memory”.
“I thought it was really beautiful,” she said of the ceremony. “We were right up in front at the War Memorial. It was just really cool to see all those people out to honour the soldiers, and all those people out to support peace,” she said of her Remembrance Day experience.
Christensen also had a chance to briefly visit with Canada’s Governor General Julie Payette during a luncheon at Rideau Hall after the Remembrance Day ceremony.
While the entire experience was overwhelming, she reflected that standing in front of Canada’s War Memorial was a somber moment.
“I was thinking about how sad it was that we had to do this in the first place,” she said of the overwhelming experience.
During her trip to Ottawa, she also had a tour of Parliament Hill and a visit to the Canadian War Museum.
As a winning entry in the Legion’s annual Poster and Literary Contest, her poem will be on display in the entrance of the Canadian War Museum until May 2019. She is thrilled that her written words will be in such a prominent place.
“I think its cool to be able to have the chance to promote something as important as peace. Not a lot of people get the chance to have something like that seen by so many people.”
Christensen reflected that she first began working on her winning poem as a school project.
“I just wanted to honour the bravery of all the soldiers,” she said. “We were doing it for a school assignment. So I was sitting in class kind of praying that I’d get a good idea and trying to think of something. And then I got the idea that colours was a good way to represent emotions so I kind of used that.”
Both of her great grandfathers served in World War II, but she admits she now has a new perspective of Remembrance Day.
“Yes. Just because the wreath we were placing was on behalf of the youth of Canada, so it definitely helped me see better that there really is something that someone as young as I can do.”
“Seeing all the people that war impacted just helps me see even more the importance of promoting peace.”