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.”

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